Lesson 2: Elements of Grammar Instruction

Metalinguistic Awareness

In this segment, we will investigate the relevance and implications of metalinguistic awareness (the consciousness of linguistic form and structure by analyzing language as an object of study).

Watch the segment and make a list of the positive factors that metalinguistic awareness brings about for the development of a second grammar. Would you add more?


A discussion of the relevance and implications of metalinguistic awareness.

Duration: 03:13

Thinking About Language: More Than Just a Skill?

Following up on the previous discussion on metalinguistic awareness, let's now consider an argument in favor of conceptualizing grammar teaching as more than just a skill-building activity.

Can you think of possible liabilities of visualizing grammar teaching in such a broad way? What are possible advantages?


Grammar teaching as more than just a skill-building activity.

Duration: 01:09

The Effects of Metalinguistic Awareness

Bialystok and Hakuta (1994: 122) argue that learning a second language can have significant effects "because the structures and concepts of different languages never coincide." Jessner (2006:277) proposes that some of the most important effects of metalinguistic awareness are:

  1. divergent and creative thinking
  2. interactional and/or pragmatic competence
  3. communicative sensitivity and flexibility

Can we construe Jessner's argument as the theoretical foundation for the explicit teaching of grammar in the second language class?