Education and Arts

Pre-conference workshops


30 September, 2013 - All day (9am-5pm)

The Educational Linguists leading these workshops have worked closely with teachers, some having been deeply involved in the development and implementation of the Australian Curriculum: English.  Participants can choose from one of three all day workshops which will run from 9am-5pm.

You will be allocated to a workshop based on availability and in order of registration and payment received.  To ensure that you get your first choice, please send in your conference registration early together with your preferences.

Workshop 1:

Attitude, stance and audience awareness in student writing –tracking and supporting development in interpersonal meaning making:

Peter White (UNSW)

The new Australian National Curriculum for English places the development of students' abilities to formulate arguments and to advance evaluative positions at the centre of its pedagogical objectives. Thus, according to the recently released National Curriculum documents, students must develop the ability in their writing to 'express an opinion based on information', 'promote a point of view' and 'defend arguments'. They should understand how language is used 'to position the reader' and be able to use rhetorical devices to 'enhance the persuasive nature of a text, recognising and exploiting audience susceptibilities'.

This workshop is directed towards enhancing participants' understanding of the linguistic resources by which these and related interpersonal outcomes are achieved. More specifically, it will draw on recent work on the Appraisal framework to outline systems for analysing and tracking developments in students' evaluative abilities. The workshop will focus primarily on the nature and functionality of evaluative meanings in persuasive texts but may also consider how they typically operate in some story-telling genres.  Texts produced by students across of range of year levels will be discussed and analysed. While the workshop is obviously tailored to address the interests of language and literacy educators, it should also be useful for researchers working in this area and for those interested more generally in Appraisal and questions relating to attitude, stance, audience addressivity and textual persona.

 Click here for Suggested Reading

Workshop 2:

Detailed Reading and Rewriting:

David Rose (University of Sydney)

Detailed Reading and Rewriting are the turbo-charged engines of the Reading to Learn program ( They enable all students to:

  • read challenging texts with full comprehension (including students with English as a second language and struggling readers)
  • read the content of a text with detailed understanding, and recognise the language choices that the author has made in writing it
  • use the content of factual texts to write new texts of their own
  • use the language resources of accomplished authors in their own writing.

They enable teachers to:

  • meet the language and content goals of their curriculum programs
  • manage their classes so that all students get equal benefit from studying texts at the same high level.

However Detailed Reading and Rewriting are not easy to do. They require careful analysis of texts and planning of lessons. In this workshop we will explore the principles of language and learning behind these strategies, and practise planning and using the strategies with stories, information texts and arguments. The workshop will equip teachers and teacher educators to begin using the strategies in their practice.

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Workshop 3:

Advanced Grammar and Meaning:

Sally Humphrey (ACU) and Susan Feez (University of New England)

It has now been over thirty years since a group of courageous teachers and teacher educators in Australia recognized the value of systemic functional grammar (SFL) for making visible and accessible the valued literacies of learning at school and beyond. Since that time, thousands of teachers across Australia and internationally have been introduced to understandings of genre and register, many curriculum documents have incorporated elements of SFL and genre theory and much research has been conducted using SFL's tools to explore meanings in a range of disciplines and modalities.  The recently developed Australian Curriculum: English, which has used the SFL metafunctional principle to organise the content of its language strand, challenges teachers to continue to build their knowledge of language and apply it to their teaching of literacy and literature.

In this course we extend teachers' knowledge of genre and grammar and assist them to design a toolkit of language resources which is theoretically robust but flexible and accessible enough to be recontextualised fruitfully across different teaching contexts. This toolkit, a 4x4 matrix, organises language resources making four types of meaning, or metafunctions [expressing ideas, connecting ideas, interacting with others, creating cohesive texts), across four layers of language (whole text, paragraph, sentence, word). Participants in the course will become familiar with the 4x4 matrix and will have the opportunity to experiment with its application in their own teaching context.

Click here for Suggested reading