The Association of Multilingualism with English Language Proficiency: The Role of Metalinguistic Awareness
This study investigated the association of multilingualism with English language proficiency in terms of the role of metalinguistic awareness in the context of multilingual second year undergraduate students of Hawassa University, Ethiopia. The study employed a correlational mixed design with 39 multilingual and 30 monolingual students using comprehensive sampling. The quantitative data were collected from both groups using proficiency test while the qualitative data were collected only from 15 multilingual students using semi-structured interview. To analyze the data obtained from the proficiency test, the mean, variance and standard deviation were used. In addition, the mean results of the multilingual and monolingual participants were compared using independent sample t-test. The two-tailed Pearson Correlation was also employed to find out the association of multilingualism with the multilinguals’ English language proficiency. The results of the study revealed that the multilingual participants were more proficient than the monolinguals in English language because of their metalinguistic awareness. Finally, the study suggested that the Department of English Language, instructors and students of Hawassa University should work hand-in-hand to implement a multilingual pedagogical approach in the classroom so that the students would get maximum benefit from their prior languages during English language learning.