Pluralistic Approaches: vectors for the development of metalinguistic competence of lower secondary pupils - Université Toulouse - Jean Jaurès Access content directly
Conference Papers Year : 2012

Pluralistic Approaches: vectors for the development of metalinguistic competence of lower secondary pupils

Rebecca Dahm


This work is embedded in the theoretical frameworks of cognitive sciences, language didactics as implemented at lower secondary school in France, and integrated didactic approaches. It distinguishes itself from traditional mutlilingualism studies, as it focuses on developing a multilingual competence among typically monolingual speakers. To explore this possibility, we have built our theoretical framework not only on Cummins’ hypothesis of interdependence (1978) or on Bialystok’s definition of metalinguistic skill (1985), but also on integrated didactic approaches as developed in the FREPA (Framework of Reference for Pluralistic Approaches). We hence consider the metalinguistic competence a transferable skill, independent from the language used and yet a component of the multilingual skill. We hypothesize that the development of teaching methods based on teaching unknown languages (pluralistic approaches) helps students develop their metalinguistic skill, a transferable skill we assume independent from the languages used. Being confronted to unknown languages without a purpose of learning allows students to apprehend languages differently: the confrontation with the obstacle triggers, therefore, the automated metaprocess as defined by Gombert (1990). We intend to explore the educational benefits of such pluralistic approaches on different components of the metalinguistic competence. To do this, a pre-and post-test is administered to five test groups and five control groups. After reviewing the language biographies of the first group, we selected a sample of one hundred perfectly monolingual students in the family environment who started learning English at about the same age. During the school year 2011-2012, teachers of these classes will lead ten sessions of pluralistic approaches: three sessions in Dutch, three in Italian, three in Finnish and a wrap-up session. Students will be able to perform in turn a metalexical, metasyntax metaphonological reflection. This will be done in groups of four. The verbalization of their discussion will be recorded and analyzed so as to identify invariants in the observations. We want to understand, following Anderson’s research (1996), how students manage to identify relevant solutions in L1 and L2. This identification should enable them to construct an operator so as to solve the problem they face in the L3 they are discovering. Presumably, the process of proceduralisation (Anderson, 1982 and 1996) helps students develop their metalinguistic competence. In our paper we will first present the theoretical framework that underlies our research before approaching the methodology used. We hope we will be able to present some preliminary or expected results, although the post-test has not yet been conducted.
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hal-01915728 , version 1 (08-11-2018)


  • HAL Id : hal-01915728 , version 1


Rebecca Dahm. Pluralistic Approaches: vectors for the development of metalinguistic competence of lower secondary pupils. Multilingualism - chance and challenge. Fourth international conference on challenges and opportunities of multilingualism in the fields of school and teacher training, University of Luxembourg, Jun 2012, Luxembourg, Luxembourg. ⟨hal-01915728⟩
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