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Title: The Problem of False Language Awareness
Authors: Svalberg, Agneta Marie-Louise
First Published: 2001
Publisher: Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Citation: Language Awareness, 2001, 10 (2-3), pp. 200-212
Abstract: The boldness of the Language Awareness undertaking is encapsulated in the word 'awareness', implying knowledge of 'the truth', as evidenced in the collocation 'to be aware of with 'the fact that'. Thus a Language Awareness approach tries to guide learners towards discovery and understanding of truths about language. This paper tries to show that sometimes, on the contrary, learners are lead to acquire a false awareness. That is to say, instruction may create or reinforce misconceptions about the language. Explanations, choice of context and visual illustrations can all be misleading. It has been found, for example, that would is more strongly associated with unreality among Malay-speaking learners that among native speakers of English (Svalberg, 1998 and forthcoming). The classroom focus on conditional contexts encourages this particular association above other equally valid ones. It will also be shown that instruction may encourage learners to construe alternative, non-English tense systems. The overall purpose of the paper is to raise the question of whether the descriptive models teachers work with are adequate for the aims of a Language Awareness approach to language teaching.
DOI Link: 10.1080/09658410108667035
ISSN: 0965-8416
eISSN: 1747-7565
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Article
Rights: © 2001, Taylor & Francis. Deposited with reference to the publisher’s archiving policy available on the SHERPA/RoMEO website.
Description: This is an Author's Accepted Manuscript of an article published in Language Awareness, 10 (2-3), pp. 200-212, 2001 © Taylor & Francis, available online at:
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, School of Education

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