Episode 31: Metalinguistic Awareness and Grammatical Awareness in Action

How does teaching parts of speech enhance word consciousness and ones ability to solve analogies? Well, the more one knows about words, the more word consciousness he or she will gain. This means that a close look at English grammar needs to happen within a word conscious classroom. The teaching of Grammar is beneficial on many levels. For example, by understanding the parts of speech, students learn the role or function of the word, which in turn helps to enhance their metalinguistic awareness. According to Zipke (2008), Metalinguistic awareness is “the ability to objectify language and dissect it as an arbitrary linguistic code independent of meaning” (p. 128). Hence, if we want students to be adept with diction, then they must understand how to pronounce words, what words mean, and what is its grammatical function.

Teaching Grammar does not have to be boring. Rightfully, Michael Clay Thompson reminds us to remember that Grammar is cool and it is very learnable. Hence, I’ve been interweaving Grammar into my literacy instruction. In addition to Thompson’s claim, Tunmer, Herriman, and Nesdale found that “young children’s awareness of grammatical structure predicts their later reading performance” (p. 567). Moreover, “young children who are grammatically aware will be better able to monitor their comprehension of text as they read” (pp. 567 & 568). Based on these premises alone, explicit teaching of grammar is expected in a word conscious classroom.

In this episode, you will hear me giving the students a grammar lesson with a focus on prepositional phrases. I have been working on this grammatical skill for about three days and on the third day, the students finally started understanding the concept of the prepositional phrase. Phillips submitted that students can learn grammar easily by way of prepositional phrases. I don’t have enough evidence to accept or reject her premise, nonetheless, I plan to continue using her approach through out this academic year. Stay tuned! More episodes with Grammar instruction are in the making.


Bainbridge, J., Malicky, G., Lang, L., & Heydon, R. (2011). Constructing meaning: Balancing elementary language arts. Brantford, Ont: W. Ross MacDonald School Resource Services Library.

Phillips, W. C. (1995). Easy grammar. Scottsdale, Az: ISHA Enterprises
Tunmer, W. E., Herriman, M. L., & Nesdale, A. R. (1988). Metalinguistic abilities and beginning reading. Reading Research Quarterly, 23(2), 134-158.

Zipke, M. (2008). Teaching metalinguistic awareness and reading comprehension with riddles. The Reading Teacher, 62(2), 128-137. Retrieved from https://ezproxy.pgcc.edu/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy.pgcc.edu/docview/203282772?accountid=13315

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