Metalinguistic awareness and self-repair in Chinese language learning

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The importance of metalinguistic knowledge in foreign language learning is exemplified by beginning Chinese learners’ practice of self-initiated self-repairs. It demonstrates how such knowledge helps learners to enhance accurate L2 production. Repair constitutes an important part of the social organization of conversation for the interactional needs of human communication. Self-repair by native speakers illustrates their metalinguistic awareness of communicative needs at the subliminal level; whereas self-repair by beginning Chinese language learners reflects their conscious effort and self-monitoring of their utterances for accurate Chinese production. This study suggests that developing metalinguistic knowledge should help learners to suppress L1 influence, and linguistic research offers a vital role in fostering the development of learners’ metalinguistic knowledge.


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