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A framework for relating degree of bilingualism to aspects of linguistic awareness is presented in which metalinguistic tasks are described in terms of their demands for analysis of knowledge or control of processing. Two studies are reported in which children differing in their level of bilingualism were given metalinguistic problems to solve that made demands on either analysis or control. The hypotheses were that all bilingual children would perform better than monolingual children on all metalinguistic tasks requiring high levels of control of processing and that fully bilingual children would perform better than partially bilingual children on tasks requiring high levels of analysis of knowledge. The results were largely consistent with these predictions.
Levels of bilingualism and levels of linguistic awareness. Developmental Psychology, 24(4), 560-567. from PsycINFO database.
Bialystok , E. (1988).
Observed the development of metalinguistic awareness and tested the bilingual hypothesis, by comparing metalinguistic skills in 32 Spanish-speaking and 32 English-speaking monolinguals and in 32 Spanish-English bilinguals aged 4 yrs 5 mo to 8 yrs. The Spanish and English metalinguistic tests each contained 15 different ungrammatical constructions and 15 grammatically correct "fillers." For each item, the children were asked in the appropriate language to note whether the construction was correct or incorrect, to correct the errors they noted, and to explain why those errors were wrong. Data suggest that the experience of learning 2 languages hastens the development of certain metalinguistic skills in young children but does not alter the course of that development.
The effects of learning two languages on levels of metalinguistic awareness. Cognition, 34(1), 1-56. from PsycINFO database.
Galambos, S. J., & Goldin-Meadow, S. (1990).
Bilinguals' superiority over unilinguals on cognitive, linguistic, and academic achievement measures has been explained in terms of a metalinguistic hypothesis that suggests that use of 2 or more languages endows the language users with special awareness of objective properties of language and enables them to analyze linguistic input more effectively. A series of studies compared unilingual and balanced bilingual Kond children to investigate the metalinguistic hypothesis. These studies show that the bilinguals outperform the unilinguals on a number of cognitive, linguistic, and metalinguistic tasks, even when the differences in intelligence are controlled. However, a study with unschooled bilingual and unilingual children showed no significant differences in metalinguistic skills. The metalinguistic hypothesis of bilinguals' superiority in cognition may need to be reexamined in the context of the effect of schooling on metalinguistic processes.
Bilingualism and cognitive development of kond tribal children: Studies on metalinguistic hypothesis.Pharmacopsychoecologia. Special Issue: Environmental Toxicology and Social Ecology, 5(1-2), 57-66. from PsycINFO database.
Mohanty, A. K. (1992).
Investigated the relationship between metalinguistic and cognitive ability of 120 bilingual and unilingual children who were 6, 8, and 10 yrs of age. Metalinguistic ability was determined from students’ abilities to perceive rhymes in language, judge the appropriateness of corrections of others' speech, define words, substitute symbols, understand arbitrary language, and create words. Cognitive abilities were measured with Piagetian conservation tasks and the Progressive Matrices Test. Results suggest that bilingualism enhances the metalinguistic ability of children but does not improve their cognitive abilities because bilinguals are capable of switching from one linguistic code to the other. It is therefore contended that metalinguistic abilities constitute a set of abilities independent from cognitive abilities and that the better performance of bilinguals is due to their ability to reflect on language regardless of their cognitive development.
Relationship between metalinguistics and cognitive development of bilingual and unilingual tribal children. Psycho-Lingua,14(1), 63-70. from PsycINFO database.
Pattnaik, K., & Mohanty, A. K. (1984).