The Nature and Types of Metalinguistic Awareness in Developing Writers

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dc.contributor.advisor Parr, Judy
dc.contributor.advisor Jesson, Rebecca Newton, Moira Ellen 2022-02-14T01:46:17Z 2022-02-14T01:46:17Z 2021 en
dc.description.abstract Researchers theorise metalinguistic awareness as essential to learning to write. Children writing must have the ability to think about language as an abstraction, a resource for making meaning, and reflect on it. In New Zealand, there have been studies of the metalinguistic awareness essential to reading and early writing but no study in New Zealand has investigated the relationship between metalinguistic awareness and children’s writing, at 7 to 11 years of age. Internationally, little is known about the nature of children’s metalinguistic awareness related to writing. The aim of this study was to investigate the nature and types of metalinguistic awareness expressed by primary-aged children while writing a text and subsequently during interviews. Differences between individual children concerning the abstraction and sophistication of their metalinguistic awareness and its complex relationship to writing achievement were explored. In order to achieve this aim, the study was an explanatory, sequential mixed methods design. This comprised a quantitative, first phase in which the children’s writing and metalinguistic abilities were tested using two standardised, norm referenced tests. The strength of a possible relationship was tested through correlation. The first phase provided scores which enabled small profile groups to be chosen, for the second qualitative phase, in which children wrote a paragraph and verbalised what they were thinking as they wrote. The children then completed an interview to talk about their writing. The participants in the first phase were 85 children at Years 3 to 6 of their New Zealand schooling from an inner city, multiethnic Auckland school. A subsample of 32 participants, divided into four high-achieving and low-achieving profile groups, was purposively chosen for the second phase. The first phase revealed that there was a relationship between writing and metalinguistic awareness, as measured by the two standardised tests. The second phase explained the nature of this relationship: verbalisation and interview transcripts provided nuanced metalinguistic data which showed that all children were thinking metalinguistically about their writing. This study contributes a finely grained analysis of the metalinguistic awareness that children employed related to writing achievement. Instances of metalinguistic awareness were placed on continua of increasingly explicit representations and consciously making linguistic choices, which showed developing abstraction and sophistication in the children’s perception of language. The theory that children develop inner control of a network of metalinguistic strategies for working on text which might be self-extending was supported.
dc.publisher ResearchSpace@Auckland en
dc.relation.ispartof PhD Thesis - University of Auckland en
dc.relation.isreferencedby UoA en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.
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dc.title The Nature and Types of Metalinguistic Awareness in Developing Writers
dc.type Thesis en Education The University of Auckland en Doctoral en PhD en 2022-01-30T21:50:52Z
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The author en
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