Conscience métalinguistique et maîtrise de l’orthographe : y a-t-il une relation ? Une première enquête au Niger à partir d’un corpus de français au niveau du Collège

Oreste Floquet, Maria Antonietta Pinto


In this study, we explore the hypothesis of an inverse relationship between the awareness of certain semantic and grammatical aspects of the French language and orthography control. To this end, we administered the Acceptability task of the French metalinguistic awareness test THAM-2 (Pinto and El Euch, 2015), presented in written form to 28 students in the 6th, 5th and 4th grades of a school in Niamey ( Niger), where the whole schooling takes place entirely in French from the first grade. In addition to the basic scores foreseen by the coding system of the test, we created a coding system to assess orthographic errors. The main distinction was between "categorical" and "non categorical" errors, the former representing a violation of the boundaries between word categories, such as name in the place of a verb, or an adjective, a pronoum, etc, while the latter do not entail any confusion between these categories. We then applied a statistical correlation test which showed that low epilinguistic and metalinguistic performance were inversely proportional to the number of categorical errors, the total number of errors, the error rate in relation to the total number of words produced, and the categorical error rate in relation to the total number of words produced. In other words, the more developed students' epilinguistic and metalinguistic awareness was, the fewer total and categorical errors they made, and the lower the ratio between categorical errors and the total number of words was, which is a good indicator of orthography control. Within the limits of an exploratory study, we believe this research offers several elements of originality, which may become the object of further studies on the different aspects and levels of metalinguistic awareness, as well as on the possibility to rethink French orthography teaching.

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ISSN 2035-391X