Education and Arts

John Polias & Brian Dare

John Polias: Director, Lexis Education & Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of English, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Brian Dare: Director, Lexis Education

Doing it in the classroom: knowledge about language in teaching, knowledge about language in learning

Our mentoring work over many years in classrooms in various parts of the world has highlighted again and again for all concerned the significant benefits that a knowledge about language can have. This is not only a knowledge about language for the teacher in terms of designing and enacting successful, explicit pedagogies but also for the student in terms of developing into independent and critical language users. We have been mindful in all our work that a focus on language cannot hope to succeed without a careful consideration of how teaching and learning can best be carried out. In this regard, we have underpinned our focus on language with a teaching and learning cycle that we have continually sought to improve.

We will present several examples of our work with teachers working in local schools in Australia and Hong Kong, and also in international schools. These examples, which clearly reflect the potential benefits of working with an explicit language-based pedagogy, cover primary and secondary school settings. They will illustrate how we use a rich teaching and learning cycle that aims to develop the genre and register capabilities of teachers and students. Within this cycle is not only the ongoing development of a metalanguage but an understanding of the interdependence of language and other semiotic systems.