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Language awareness and language learning

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 September 2007

Agneta M-L. Svalberg
Affiliation:
School of Education, University of Leicester, UKamls2@le.ac.uk

Abstract

This article reviews Language Awareness (LA) as a field of research and practice. It deals with the period from 1990 to the present, asking what LA is, how it has been collectively constructed during this time, what the theoretical underpinnings might be and what it means in practical, methodological terms in the classroom and for society. It is recognized that its multidisciplinary nature and wide scope could lead to fragmentation, but it is argued that the holistic view evident in LA research and practice is a strength, and that its different sub-fields have certain core notions in common which give LA coherence. The paper begins with a brief background sketch and outline, and goes on to discuss the literature on cognitive aspects of LA, such as awareness, attention and noticing. The review then enquires into the characteristics of LA teaching methodology, and what LA is needed for teachers to implement it. Social and political perspectives are then explored in brief reviews of Critical Language Awareness, Inter-/Cross-cultural Awareness, and multilingualism. The paper closes by drawing conclusions and making suggestions for further research.

Type
State of the Art
Copyright
© 2007 Cambridge University Press

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