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Conference Papers Year : 2012

From language awareness to language performance through pluralistic approaches

Rebecca Dahm


The aim of this paper is to present my research: I am engaging typically monolingual lower secondary school students in linguistic problem solving when confronted to languages that are not being taught at school (pluralistic approaches). I hypothesize that metalinguistic reflection on an unknown language (L3) led by pupils collaboratively (in groups of four) can have an impact on students’ knowledge and performance in their L2 (English). The goal of our experimentation is to make learners understand the usefulness of metalinguistic knowledge. When having to reflect upon an unknown language, students need to resort to the metalinguistic knowledge they have of prior languages (L1 French and L2 English in our case) so as to carry out the required tasks. No metalinguistic instruction takes place as there is no teaching goal: the focus is essentially on language learning methodology. During the school year 2011-2012, teachers of four year-9 classes will lead nine sessions of pluralistic approaches: three sessions in Dutch, three in Italian and three in Finnish (languages that do not belong to the ordinary curriculum). Students perform, in turn, a metalexical, metasyntaxical and metaphonological reflection in groups of four. These Language Related Episodes (Swain, 1998) are recorded and analyzed so as to identify the underlying processing operations (R. Ellis, 2004) and the socially constructed metalanguage (Fraser, 2001). The results of the pre- and post-test will be compared to those of the comparison group so as to measure the impact of the teaching methodology on the performance in English (L2) of the students. In this paper, I will first present the theoretical framework that underlies my research before approaching the methodology used. I hope to be able to present some preliminary or expected results, although the post-test will just have been conducted.
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hal-01915729 , version 1 (08-11-2018)


  • HAL Id : hal-01915729 , version 1


Rebecca Dahm. From language awareness to language performance through pluralistic approaches. Language Awareness for our Multicultural World - 11th international conference, Association for Language Awareness, Jul 2012, Montreal, Canada. ⟨hal-01915729⟩
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