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The Learning Conference 2003

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Presentation Details


Strawberries for Mavis in Wales: Word Play as Metalinguistic Knowledge

Jan Laugharne.

The work described in this paper arises from research carried out over a two year period with 160 children aged between nine and thirteen years old. The majority were bilingual - in Welsh and English, and in English and a variety of other languages, including Somali and Cantonese. Semi structured interviews were conducted by one researcher which contained discussion, questions and story episodes. A particularly interesting outcome is that of word play around sounds and multiple meanings between the languages available to the speakers. This is here related to definitions of metalinguistic knowledge and is interpreted through a close focus, sociolinguistic, analysis of a small number of key examples from the data.


Jan Laugharne  (United Kingdom)
Director of Research and Graduate Studies

  • Bilingual children
  • Metalinguistic knowedge

(30 min Conference Paper, English)