EXPLORING METALINGUISTIC AWARENESS OF PRESERVICE TEACHERS (PSTS): LEARNING TO EDUCATE LINGUISTICALLY DIVERSE STUDENTS
This article investigates the function of Metalinguistic Awareness (MLA) in preparing preservice teachers (PSTs) to instruct students from diverse linguistic backgrounds. It examines the level of MLA among PSTs, their opportunities for learning and educating learners from diverse backgrounds, and their acquisition of MLA knowledge and teaching skills. The literature review highlights the positive effects of MLA on language instruction and learning, including its advantages in analyzing language properties, enhancing proficiency, facilitating language acquisition, and enhancing cognitive development and comprehension skills in bilingual students. However, the review reveals a dearth of MLA in PSTs and highlights the need to improve teacher education programs to better support students from diverse linguistic backgrounds. The study proposes the incorporation of service-learning and multicultural education programs in order to enhance the preparation of PSTs, emphasizing the significance of intercultural reflection and accommodating English language learners. It highlights the significance of MLA in the teaching and learning process as well as the consequences of inadequate training for PSTs. Future research should concentrate on a comprehensive examination of MLA and its implementation in preservice teacher education. In conclusion, this study highlights the significance of MLA in multilingual learning and the need to improve PSTs' understanding of linguistic diversity. By investigating MLA among PSTs at a private university in Pakistan, this study aims to contribute to the improvement of teacher education programs and ensure that PSTs possess the necessary knowledge and skills to effectively support diverse learners.