The multilingual experience
Can individual factors related to multilingual usage predict metalinguistic awareness?
Nina Woll |
Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières
Of the numerous factors affecting language development, [ p. 78 ]a particular role has been assigned to Metalinguistic Awareness (MLA) as a major constituent of the cognitive development of experienced language learners, while being itself a key to accelerated language learning (e.g., Jessner, 2008). The present study explores the relationship between multilingual usage and MLA in French-speaking Quebeckers (n = 66) with different language backgrounds who start to learn German after English in a formal setting. ‘Multilingual experience’ was operationalized by the frequency and the diversity of foreign language use across 10 different contexts of use. A reflexive dimension of MLA was assessed by means of the THAM-3 (Pinto & El Euch, 2015), and complemented by think-aloud protocols produced during a multilingual translation task, which reflected an applied dimension of MLA. Multiple regression analyses suggest that both frequency and diversity of non-native language use in specifically literacy-based activities predicted the applied dimension of MLA.
Keywords: multilingualism, multilingual experience, metalinguistic awareness, third language acquisition, literacy development
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