Tasks for Developing and Consolidating Metalinguistic Competence in a Business Italian Course


  • Nives Lenassi Ekonomska fakulteta Univerze v Ljubljani




metalinguistic competence, business correspondence text, communicative practice, macrostructural element, task typology


This article presents the frequency and the typology of tasks designed to develop and consolidate metalinguistic competence in business Italian with a special focus on business correspondence. In the business Italian teaching materials that were analyzed for the study, these tasks represent only a small percentage of all the tasks found in these materials. Despite their low number their role is not negligible because metalinguistic competence enables the development of awareness about the linguistic system, which implies the comprehension of various linguistic means and their denomination with the appropriate terms as well as their placement in the system. This competence sensitizes students to the importance of different communicative practices in the stylistic and material production of business correspondence texts and to the relevance of the macrostructural elements that are expected in various topics (offer, order, complaint, etc.). These analyses, carried out on six different textbooks, identified 1) interesting similarities and differences in the materials studied and 2) the typology of tasks, characterized by the use of simple metalanguage and by the predominantly receptive orientation. The insights acquired can be used by teachers to improve and integrate the existing teaching models and to prepare their own materials designed to teach business correspondence.


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How to Cite

Lenassi, N. (2012). Tasks for Developing and Consolidating Metalinguistic Competence in a Business Italian Course. Journal for Foreign Languages, 4(1-2), 227–242. https://doi.org/10.4312/vestnik.4.227-242



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