Explicit, implicit and metalinguistic knowledge in L2 Chinese

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The aim of this paper is to investigate the relationship between metalinguistic knowledge and language proficiency in L2 Chinese. In line with the distinction between explicit knowledge and implicit knowledge, different tests were designed and then administered to 38 intermediate level learners of Chinese in order to measure the difference between the two types of knowledge, and between these values and the scores obtained in written and oral proficiency tests. Results show that the participants’ level of explicit knowledge was higher than the implicit level. This reveals that a positive correlation exists between explicit knowledge and language proficiency, and thus confirms the role played by metalinguistic knowledge in language performance.


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