Metalinguistic cognition is the ability to think about language, to comment on it, to produce it, to comprehend it, and to manipulate language as an object with many identifiable and functional parts. It appears that metalinguistic skill development is related to cognitive development and is dependent on metalinguistic awareness which runs parallel to cognitive growth. Research studies provide findings that show metalinguistic awareness is interrelated to reading ability, academic achievement, and to environmental stimulation and play before school. Early metalinguistic awareness is important to literacy in reading and in language arts during the elementary school years. Thus, literacy may be thought of as the essence of metalinguistic awareness which begins when two-year-old children begin to monitor their own speech. (Four tables of data are included, and 20 references are attached.) (MM)
Paper presented to the faculty of St. Dominic School (Baltimore, MD, Spring 1989).