English curriculum studies 1 - Lecture 3


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A closer look at operational literacy, the history of language in the English curriculum and contemporary views.

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English curriculum studies 1 - Lecture 3

  1. 1. English Curriculum Studies 1 CLB018 / CLP408 Lecture 3 Text types, register and grammar: Beyond ‘skills and drills’ Kelli McGraw
  2. 2.  Assignment 1 Due date: Monday 11 th April Length: 1200-1500 words Weighting: 40% Part A: Write a statement of approx. 500 words detailing your personal English teaching philosophy. You must include specific reference to the models of English teaching and pedagogical approaches with which you identify the most and explain how your beliefs about English teaching have been shaped by various influences.
  3. 3.  Assignment 1 Due date: Monday 11 th April NB: You must attach a copy of a representative chapter/section of your chosen course books or materials to your assignment. Part B: Write an analytical exposition of approximately 1000 words discussing two junior secondary English course books (or other relevant course material). Your choices should represent two different language approaches: one that you feel aligns with your personal English teaching philosophy, and one that does not .
  4. 4. Not Waving But Drowning Nobody heard him the dead man, But still he lay moaning: I was much further out than you thought And not waving but drowning.   Poor chap, he always loved larking And now he’s dead It mist have been too cold for him his heart gave way, They said.   O, no no no, it was too cold always (Still the dead one lay moaning) I was much too far out all my life And not waving but drowning.   Stevie Smith http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/poetry/outloud/smith.shtml
  5. 5. Bushell Reading Activities – Set 1
  6. 6. What model of English teaching underpins this set of questions and tasks?
  7. 7. Today’s lecture: Text types, register and grammar Beyond ‘skills and drills’ (Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love Language) Text Types: We think of texts in terms of their genres. This has resulted in certain ‘text types’ being valued. (Which ones will you teach?) Register: Formal of informal register? Let’s go beyond this and talk about field , tenor and mode . Grammar: language structure – the system of rules followed by the speakers (or hearers) of a language. Linguistic grammar encompasses morphology , syntax and phonology .
  8. 8. Remember this conceptual ‘anchor’ from Lecture 1? ‘ LITERACY’ is: Three Literacy Dimensions (Bill Green, 1988) Very tempting to see this as the ‘easy part’ ( MWAH HA HA! ...Guffaw! ...LOL! ) The OPERATIONAL dimension refers to developing competency with the language system. This language aspect of literacy includes the ability to recognise and use the systems of signs (codes) and patterns of codes (conventions) which are part of language and literacy.
  9. 9. <ul><li>English in the 1910s and 1920s was characterised by two sources of tension : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>by the pressure to teach ‘correct’ grammar through systematic instruction (as was the practice in teaching Classical languages and grammar), and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>by disputes about whether English curriculum should focus on the study of grammar or on the study of literature and pupil expression . </li></ul></ul>The Timeline Task... vs Grammar The trend away from the teaching of grammar for its own sake , and the belief that English expression should be taught through the reading of ‘good’ literature was echoed in the Australian context. ‘ Tripod’ English – a combination of grammar , composition and literature – formed the basis of both the syllabuses of pre-1950s curriculum. As English developed in the early 1900s as an identifiable subject, separate from the Classics , an emphasis remained clearly on the teaching of English grammar. 1912 : Establishment of mass free secondary schooling in QLD
  10. 10. The early 1900s can therefore be seen to contain differences in belief about whether to explicitly teach grammar and if so, how best to do so, as well as a growing emphasis on the importance of studying literature to both cultivate individual values and ‘taste’ and strengthen the place of English as a subject. What all of this has in common is the utilisation of transmission approaches to pedagogy, and an emphasis on correctness of expression and analysis. The 1960s would see a different approach gain momentum both in the US and UK, and in Australia.
  11. 11. 1970 : in QLD the Radford report recommends that that public examinations be replaced by a system of internal school assessment. Junior and Senior examinations, first held in 1910, were held for the last time in 1970 and 1972 respectively. 1971 : Board of Secondary School Studies established in QLD. 1973 : New English syllabus written and trialled, progressively introduced to Years 8-12 between 1974 and 1979. The Timeline Concludes... In 1967 Dixon popularises the Growth Model , which emphasises contexts and use rather than isolated skills. NO MORE DRILLS! Students learn through language use. (Later the Growth Model is criticised as the emphasis on the individual resulted in a (perceived?) neglect of close language study.) 1980s onwards = the ‘socio-cultural’ model of English places emphasis on purpose, audience and medium – on the social and cultural functions of the text. Close study of language using Functional Grammar is an essential part of this. In the 1990s close language study is constructed as a central element of critical literacy (see ‘four resources’ model) . The exploration of cultural ideologies is seen as too political by some.
  12. 12. ...there’s now a growing engagement with multiliteracies : The term ‘multiliteracies’ began to be widely used after the first meeting of the ‘New London Group’ in 1994 , who used the term to refer to the contemporary need to engage with not only the grammar of written language , but also the grammars of still and moving images, music and sound. However, the need to extend the concept of literacy beyond print literacy was just one aspect of what multiliteracies would entail – it also meant the application of established literacy practices, such as engaging critical literacy, to a wider range of semiotic systems. <ul><li>...and a continued focus on socio-linguistics: </li></ul><ul><li>Language doesn’t just happen. It arises out of a context. </li></ul><ul><li>We change the language we use depending on the context we are in. </li></ul><ul><li>Our job in language analysis is to look at the register variables: field , tenor and mode. </li></ul><ul><li>Largely based on Halliday’s work. </li></ul>
  13. 13. This week there were a lot of readings... <ul><li>We’ll be exploring our own reading and writing practices. </li></ul><ul><li>Pay close attention to what you like to read and write. </li></ul><ul><li>Bring in your writing journal. Don’t have one? Great chance to get one! </li></ul>Preparing for classes next week... <ul><li>Charged with Meaning: Chapters 24 and 25 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>These chapters relate to GENRE STUDIES. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ I don’t know why there is an obsessive concern in schools with teaching the forms in advance of writing” (p.246) ...think about it. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Green: ‘A literacy project of our own’ </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Not only speaks about his ‘3D’ model of literacy, also describes the specific literacy work that belongs in an English classroom. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Bull & Anstey: Multimodality. </li></ul><ul><li> Read it. It explains everything! They published a nice summary here: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://cmslive.curriculum.edu.au/leader/default.asp?id=31522&issueID=12141 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Williams: Survival materials for language and genre (seriously practical). </li></ul>