Playing With Language
Improving Elementary Reading Through Metalinguistic Awareness
Teachers College Press
All students can benefit from a deeper understanding of how our language works. Playing With Language shows elementary school educators (K–6) how to think about, talk about, and manipulate language out of context. This cognitive skill set, known as metalinguistic awareness, is an important component of reading ability. This practical guide scales activities and teaching suggestions to students’ age, linguistic background, and individual strengths and challenges. The authors offer suggestions for introducing metalinguistic concepts like phonological, semantic, and syntactic awareness with fun activities like games, songs, rhymes, and riddles. The book also identifies and explains research that supports using metalinguistic teaching with diverse students and English learners to build skills in multiple areas, including reading comprehension and decoding ability. Teachers will find that students introduced to language play become continually engaged with language, finding real-world examples with wonder and delight.
Compiles information on all forms of metalinguistic awareness (MA), spanning different linguistic units and developmental reading levels.
Contains personal anecdotes and classroom-tested instructional recommendations for encouraging language play.
Presents research on how individual language skills affect reading ability.
Offers suggestions for full lesson plans with small groups or whole classes of children, as well as ideas for infusing MA activities into everyday exchanges and book choices.
Marcy Zipke is a professor in the Elementary and Special Education Department at Providence College. She has served as department chair and faculty senate representative and is currently coeditor-in-chief of the Journal of Research in Childhood Education.