The MATEL Projectmatel



The MATEL project aims at promoting metalinguistic awareness (MLA) in different European languages through the Metalinguistic Awareness Tests (MATs), thus encouraging bilingual and multilingual education. Assessment of metalinguistic abilities (MLA) can be a precious resource for predicting achievement in a range of other abilities, from study skills in L1 to additional languages learning.

The project addresses two main objectives:                  

a) Expanding and optimising the range of tests for assessing MLA at Middle School, High School and University level. Batteries of these tests already exist, validated in Italian language for subjects from childhood to adulthood. The project envisages the translation of MATs in German and their validation in Spanish and French.

b) Creating educational materials for promoting MLA in these European languages. Didactic videos will be created on the basis of in-group discussions about selected items of the MATs under the guidance of an expert of MLA.

The project intends to promote a culture of MLA, viewed as a powerful means for accessing linguistic meanings at a deeper level, and for monitoring mutual understanding between interlocutors. According to this perspective, MLA is considered both as an outcome of bi/multilingualism, where ambiguities and conflicts between meanings are always latent, and as a significant predictor of additional languages learning, especially in complex multilingual settings.  

The use of the translated or validated MATs and of the didactic videos issued after the project’s completion can be disseminated mainly among: language teachers (L1, L2 , Ln….), who can exploit these abilities for developing adaptive interlinguistic strategies in a multilingual competence perspective; educational or clinical psychologists, researchers in applied linguistics, who will have tools based on common conceptual and psychometric grounds that can guarantee valid crosslinguistic comparisons. Well developed MLA in the framework of a multilingual curriculum will give students control over challenging situations, as it typically happens in multilingual European contexts.

An International Project

Five universities and research groups extremely well-known in the research field of the Metalinguistics are involved in the project, whereby four partners from Europe and one from Canada are included. The research team of the University of Granada and La Sapienza from Rome coordinate the project and Prof. Pinto is the project leader.  


Project leader Pinto Maria Antonietta (University La Sapienza in Rome)

Facebook-page of the MATEL-Project

Final Conference of the MATEL-Project (Nov. 20th 2015)


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This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication (communication) reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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Co-funded by the European Commission of the European Union


Jessner, Ulrike; Hofer, Barbara; Pellegrini, Claudia; Pinto, Maria Antonietta (2015): The translation of the Italian metalinguistic ability tests TAM–2 and TAM–3 (Pinto, 1999) into the German MKT–2 (Jessner, Hofer, & Pinto 2015) and MKT–3 (Jessner, Pellegrini, Moroder, Hofer, & Pinto 2015). In: Rivista di Psicolinguistica Applicata: Journal of Applied Psycholinguistics 15/2, pp. 91 - 110.      

Jessner, U., Hofer, B., & Pinto, M.A. (2015) MKT-2 Metalinguistischer Kompetenztest 2. Innsbruck: Studia Verlag

Jessner, U., Pellegrini, C., Moroder, V., Hofer, B., & Pinto, M.A. (2015) MKT-3 Metalinguistischer Kompetenztest 3. Innsbruck: Studia Verlag.


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