Correlation of EFL learners’ metalinguistic knowledge and grammatical accuracy

Abdulaziz B Sanosi

Abstract


Grammar teaching has been a topic of debate for a considerably long time. Researchers and teachers discussed the benefits and shortcomings of its explicit instruction, which entails students’ awareness of metalanguage. Although much research has investigated metalanguage, its effect on improving students’ grammatical accuracy is still an unresolved issue, and the research concerning it is relatively limited. Nevertheless, it is widely recognised that metalanguage is beneficial for grammar teaching. Responding to this research gap, the present study investigated the relationship between EFL students’ metalinguistic knowledge and their grammatical accuracy. The researcher adopted a descriptive quantitative research design where two tests were administered to undergraduate participants (n=124). The tests scores were analysed using the Blackboard item-analysis tool and SPSS software to generate statistical information regarding the participants’ scores. The study findings revealed a significant positive correlation between the scores. This correlation was moderate and occurred at the students’ overall score level. Moreover, the study revealed a proper level of metalinguistic knowledge that was not in perfect parallel with students’ grammatical accuracy. The generated findings can provide insightful implications for grammar teaching. This finding is significant for EFL teachers as it supports claims on the importance of explicit grammar instruction. It is also essential for learners as they can use metalanguage to develop their learning. Moreover, the study suggests areas that may be helpful for researchers to further explore the issue.


Keywords


metalanguage; grammar; explicit instruction; focus of form

Full Text:

PDF

References


Alderson, J., Clapham, C., & Steel, D. (1997). Metalinguistic knowledge, language aptitude and language proficiency. Language Teaching Research, 1(2), 93-121. https://doi.org/10.1177/136216889700100202

Alipour, S. (2014). Metalinguistic and linguistic knowledge in foreign language learners. Theory and Practice in Language Studies, 4(12), 2640-2645. https://doi.org/10.4304/tpls.4.12.2640-2645

Almekhlafi, A., & Nagaratnam, R. (2011). Difficulties in teaching and learning grammar in an EFL context. International Journal of Instruction, 4(2), 69-92.

Almuhammadi, A. (2020). Teaching grammar: Professional needs of Saudi EFL instructors. International Journal of English Linguistics, 10(3), 14-20. https://doi.org/10.5539/ijel.v10n3p14

Basturkmen, H., Loewen, S., & Ellis, R. (2002). Metalanguage in focus on form in the communicative classroom. Language Awareness, 11(1), 1-13. https://doi.org/10.1080/09658410208667042

Berry, R. (2005). Making the most of metalanguage. Language Awareness, 14(1), 3-20. https://doi.org/10.1080/09658410508668817

Bitchener, J., & Ferris, D. (2012). Written corrective feedback in second language acquisition and writing. Routledge.

Chen, H., & Myhill, D. (2016). Children talking about writing: Investigating metalinguistic understanding. Linguistics and Education, 35, 100-108. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.linged.2016.07.004

Demirezen, M. (1988). Behaviourist theory and language learning. Journal of Hacettepe University Faculty of Education, 3, 135-140.

Dornyei, Z. (2007). Research methods in applied linguistics: Quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methodologies. Oxford University Press.

Ellis, M. (2016). Metalanguage as a component of the communicative classroom. Accents Asia, 8(2), 143-153.

Ellis, R. (1994). The study of second language acquisition. Oxford University Press.

Hardman, W., & Bell, H. (2019). More fronted adverbials than ever before: Writing feedback practices and grammatical metalanguage in an English primary school. Language and education, 33(1), 35-50. https://doi.org/10.1080/09500782.2018.1488864

Harmer, J. (2007). The practice of English language teaching (4th ed.). Pearson Longman.

Harun, Z., Abdullah, N., Ab. Wahab, N., & Zainuddin, N. (2017). The use of metalanguage among second language learners to mediate L2 grammar learning. Malaysian Journal of Learning and Instruction (MJLI), 14(2), 85-114. https://doi.org/10.32890/mjli2017.14.2.4

Hu, G. (2010). Revisiting the role of metalanguage in L2 teaching and learning. EA Journal, 26(1), 61-69.

Keen, J. (1997). Grammar, metalanguage and writing development. Teacher Development, 1(3), 431-445. https://doi.org/10.1080/13664539700200029

Krashen, S. (1982). Principles and practice in second language acquisition. Pergamon Press Inc.

Lightbown, P., & Spada, N. (2013). How languages are learned (4th ed.). Oxford University Press.

Long, M. H. (2000). Focus in form in task-based language teaching. In R. Lambert & E. Shohamy (Eds.), Language policy and pedagogy. Essays in honor of A. Ronald Walton (pp. 179-192). John Benjamins. https://doi.org/10.1075/z.96.11lon

Mallia, J. (2016). Teaching grammar in non-western educational settings: An enquiry on evidenced-based approach. Arab World English Journal, 7(2), 11-31. https://doi.org/10.24093/awej/vol7no2.2

Munalim, L. (2015). Freshmen college students’ metalinguistic knowledge: Matching perception and actual performance. International Journal of Linguistics and Communication, 3(1), 56-64. https://doi.org/10.15640/ijlc.v3n1a8

Nunan, D. (2003). Grammar. In D. Nunan (Ed.), Practical English language teaching (pp. 153-172). McGraw Hill.

Rimmer, W. (2006). Grammaticality Judgement Tests: Trial by error. Journal of Language and Linguistics, 5(2), 246-261.

Roshan, A., & Elhami, A. (2016). The effect of metalanguage on grammar noticing of the Iranian EFL. International Journal of English linguistics, 6(3), 194-199. http://dx.doi.org/10.5539/ijel.v6n3p194

Savignon, S. J. (1987). Communicative language teaching. Theory Into Practice, 26(4), 235-242. https://doi.org/10.1080/00405848709543281

Schleppegrell, M. (2013). The role of metalanguage in supporting academic language development. Language Learning, 63(Suppl. 1), 153-170. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9922.2012.00742.x

Schmidt, R. (2012). Attention, awareness, and individual differences in language learning. In W. M. Chan, K. N. Cin, S. K. Bhatt, & I. Walker (Eds.), Perspectives on individual characteristics and foreign language education (pp. 27-50). De Gruyter Mouton. https://doi.org/10.1515/9781614510932.27

Sofi, L. (2015). Teaching English in Saudi Arabia through the use of multimedia [Master’s thesis, The University of San Francisco]. USF Scholarship Repository. https://repository.usfca.edu/capstone/138

Steel, D., & Alderson, J. C. (1994, March 5). Metalinguistic knowledge, language aptitude and language proficiency [Paper presentation]. Annual Language Testing Research Colloquium, University of Lancaster, Washington DC, US. https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED380984

Swan, M., & Baker, D. (2008). Grammar scan: Diagnostic Test for practical English uses (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press.

Tan, B. H., & Noor Izzati, M. N. (2015). Grammaticality Judgement Test: Do item format affect test performance? Pertanika Journal of Social Sciences & Humanities, 23(S), 119-130.

Tokunaga, M. (2014). Exploring metalinguistic knowledge of low to intermediate proficiency EFL students in Japan. SAGE Open, 4(4), 1-10. https://doi.org/10.1177/2158244014553601




DOI: https://doi.org/10.24815/siele.v9i3.24615

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Print ISSN: 2355-2794, Online ISSN: 2461-0275

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.