Published online by Cambridge University Press: 04 February 2010
The role of metalinguistic ability in L2 development is seriously underestimated. It may be seen both (1) as a means of initiating or boosting the flow of primary linguistic data and (2) as a generator of substitute knowledge (derived, but epistemologically distinct from domain-specific knowledge) that may compete with or compensate for perceived gaps in the learners current underlying competence. It cannot serve as a simple means of distinguishing the rival theoretical positions.
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