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EFFECT OF METALINGUISTIC AWARENESS ON READING IN THE FIRST LANGUAGE, SECOND LANGUAGE AND THIRD LANGUAGE OF UNIVERSITY STUDENTS

S. Eleuch

Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières (CANADA)
This study examined the question of whether metalinguistic awareness affects reading performance in all the languages known by an individual. Most studies have examined this effect on only one language (e.g. Ibrahim et al., 2007) or at best on two languages (e.g. Cheung et al., 2010). In addition, the majority of previous investigations of the relationship between metalinguistic awareness and reading ability have focused on single metalinguistic domains (e.g. phonological awareness and word awareness) (Ibrahim et al., 2007) and have been carried out on children (e.g. Carlisle et al., 1999; Cheung et al. 2010; Ibrahim et al., 2007). The present study focuses on metalinguistic awareness as a whole construct rather than in terms of single domains, and explores the possibility that reading performance in all the languages known by a bilingual or a plurilingual would be affected by metalinguistic awareness. Examining the relationship between metalinguistic awareness (as a whole construct) and reading performance in plurilingual adults would bring along new knowledge as to the relationship between these two factors in an increasingly growing population.