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Grammar at School

Research on Metalinguistic Activity in Language Education


Teresa Ribas, Xavier Fontich and Oriol Guash-Boyé

The studies presented in this book argue that exploring the grammatical system outside the communicative flow enables students to develop clearer knowledge of this system and to become more effective in their language use.
This approach is the outcome of research revolving around the role of metalinguistic knowledge in learning how to write. According to this research, language use and metalinguistic activity are interdependent.
The international debate on the effect of grammar instruction on writing skills has been dominated by an overly causal approach which ignores core considerations such as the teaching procedures that we use to reflect upon the grammar system in the classroom and the way we conceptualise this system.
This book highlights the need to encourage students to engage in metalinguistic activity, in which verbalisation and data manipulation should play a key role. It also emphasises the importance of conceptualising the grammar system as an organic entity resulting from the integration of form, meaning and the intention of the speaker.
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Anna Camps is Professor Emeritus of Language Didactics at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. She has directed numerous research projects about teaching written composition, about metalinguistic activity and schoolchildren’s grammar concepts, and about grammar teaching. These studies have been published as research and dissemination books and articles aimed at training language teachers.

Carme Durán Rivas is currently a Spanish language and literature teacher at the Institut Obert de Catalunya (IOC). She has worked as a part-time lecturer in the Department of Language and Literature Didactics at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, and she has taught numerous teacher training courses and seminars. Her research work focuses on grammar teaching and learning, about which she has published several papers.

Carmen Rodríguez Gonzalo is a professor in the Department of Language and Literature Didactics at the Universitat de València (UV) and head of department on leave at a Secondary Education school (Spanish language and literature). Her research work focuses on written language didactics, grammar teaching, and the relationship between language use and reflection about language. She is a member of the group GREAL (Language Teaching and Learning Research Group, UAB) and the group GIEL (Interaction and Language Teaching Group, UV).

Debra Myhill is a professor at the University of Exeter, Associate Dean for Research and Knowledge Transfer at the College of Social Sciences and International Studies, and subject leader for English with Media. Her research work focuses on teaching and...

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