A monograph by Gombert (1992) comprises one of the most thorough and perhaps also most widely cited discussions of the development of metalinguistic awareness in children. In his work, Gombert is above all concerned with the notion of metalinguistic awareness itself rather than any connection of metalinguistic awareness with bilingualism or L2 learning, so the focus is firmly on L1. Gombert considers conscious awareness as a defining criterion of the concept of metalinguistic awareness, with metalinguistic activity referring to reflection on language, its nature and its functions. The notion further encompasses the intentional monitoring of the processes of attention and selection during language processing, e.g. stopping to search for a word, or shifting one’s attention from the content of language to the properties of language. Gombert also makes a distinction between declarative and procedural aspects of metalinguistic activity. In particular, metalinguistic knowledge is seen as a pre-condition for any metalinguistic activity, since we cannot use knowledge we do not have. Metalinguistic capacities are regarded as an integral part of metacognition, with metacognition defined as “all knowledge which has as its object, or regulates any aspect of, any cognitive task” (Gombert, 1992, pp. 5–6). In short, metacognition is cognition about cognition (see also N. J. Anderson, 2008; Dunlosky, 1998; Flavell, 1979; Hacker, 1998; Hunt & H. Ellis, 2004). Metacognition is characterized by introspective awareness of cognitive states and their operations as well as the individual’s ability to control and plan their thought processes. According to Gombert (1992), the set of meta-abilities that is available to an individual includes metalinguistic ability, meta-learning, or knowledge and control of the learning process, meta-attention, or the ability to pay attention voluntarily, social metacognition, or knowledge of the 6cognitive processes at work in other people and their behavioural implications, and meta-memory, or the ability to control one’s own memory. In summary, then, meta-learning is cognition about learning, meta-attention is cognition about attention, etc., and metalinguistic ability is cognition about language.