Language and Metalinguistic Awareness
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In CLAVES, focusing on language means explicit instruction on specific words (vocabulary), word parts (morphology), and grammatical structures (syntax). These dimensions of language are teachable, and reflecting on them helps students develop metalinguistic awareness, or an understanding of how language works and how to manipulate it. In teaching vocabulary, teachers ask for and provide: definitions, contextual examples, translations, and activities. Doing so engages students in talk that supports them in making connections across words and their multiple meanings. In teaching morphology, teachers teach meanings of word parts as they appear in key vocabulary and play with prefixes and suffixes to change word meanings and parts of speech. In teaching syntax, teachers teach parts of speech and sentence structures using manipulatives and gaming approaches. These language-based approaches have been designed to make room for students to incorporate their own experiences and understandings of language, while also supporting the development of metalinguistic awareness all in the service of supporting students to become independent language users who can creatively and effectively generate understanding through interactions with the texts, their teacher, and each other. 

  • Explicit Instruction on:

    • Specific words (vocabulary)

    • Word parts (morphology)

    • Grammatical structures (syntax)

  • Focus on how language works

  • Active verbal reflection 

  • Room for lived experiences of students 

CLAVES instruction includes