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B ASICS OF A F UNCTIONAL G RAMMAR Bridget Erickson, Cynthia Lundgren, and Steven Wicht.

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Presentation on theme: "B ASICS OF A F UNCTIONAL G RAMMAR Bridget Erickson, Cynthia Lundgren, and Steven Wicht."— Presentation transcript:

1 B ASICS OF A F UNCTIONAL G RAMMAR Bridget Erickson, Cynthia Lundgren, and Steven Wicht

2 Grammar in Social Life Mom: Susie, here’s your apple. Susie: Yuk! That piece has got a brown spot on it. I want a different one! Mom: Susie, it’s fine…stop fussing. Susie: It’s not fair. James hasn’t got any brown ones. His are nice. Mom: Well, put it there and eat the others. Susie: Don’t want them either! Can I have one of those instead? Questions: What is happening? Who is interacting? What is the situation?

3 Where Are the Apples? Mom: Susie, here’s your apple. Susie: Yuk! That piece has got a brown spot on it. I want a different one! Mom: Susie, it’s fine…stop fussing. Susie: It’s not fair. James hasn’t got any brown ones. His are nice. Mom: Well, put it there and eat the others. Susie: Don’t want them either! Can I have one of those instead?

4 What is Functional Grammar? Development of Systemic Functional Linguistics Focuses on the communicative function of language We make choices when we use language These choices are influenced by: What we want to communicate Our relationship to our audience The context of communication

5 Three Levels of Meaning Field What is the text about? What information is communicated? Tenor How does the author interact with the reader? What are the interactions in the text? Mode What is the situation? How is the text organized?

6 The Three Levels in Mom & Susie Text Field Mom gives Susie an apple. Susie complains and wants a different apple. Tenor Susie is disgusted, says, “It’s not fair.” Mom addresses Susie personally, offers a solution. Mode Spoken interaction. Many references to apples.

7 Comparing Grammar Perspectives Analyzes the structure of language. What is the correct word order? What are the nouns, verbs, adverbs, adjectives, etc.? Analyzes the function of language. How do different grammar forms affect meaning? How is language organized? Rule OrientedFunction Oriented

8 Functional Grammar and Teaching “Language is a dynamic, complex set of resources for making meaning.” –Beverley Derewianka (2011), p. 3. A functional lens helps support critical reading. Students have a language to talk about how language works.

9 Functional Grammar in a Sentence Who or what was involved? What is happening? Who or what was involved? When? Iwalkedmy dogyesterday. ParticipantProcessParticipantCircumstance

10 Mode: How Are Texts Organized? What is this text about? How do you know? There are about 35,000 named species of spiders. While a few live in fresh water, the majority are land dwellers. Indeed, spiders are thought to have been among the first arthropods to successfully colonize the land. Spiders are predators, feeding on nearly any other animal of manageable size.

11 Mode: How Are Texts Organized? Theme means the beginning of a clause to the Process (verb). Theme analysis shows how a topic develops in a text. There are about 35,000 named species of spiders. While a few live in fresh water, the majority are land dwellers. Indeed, spiders are thought to have been among the first arthropods to successfully colonize the land. Spiders are predators, feeding on nearly any other animal of manageable size.

12 Mode: How Are Texts Organized? How does this text compare to the spider text? (The Themes are highlighted.) Yellowstone has hot springs and geysers. A geyser is a hot spring that erupts periodically, shooting water and steam into the air. Groundwater is heated to high temperatures, causing it to expand underground. This expansion forces some of the water out of the ground, taking pressure off of the remaining water.

13 Theme Development in Science Texts One subject is the Theme for most or all of the text. This allows us to focus on one topic and give more information about it, like spiders. The Theme changes with new information in the text. This allows us to develop an explanation of a process or event, like geyser eruptions. Information Reports: Spiders Explanations: Yellowstone Geysers

14 From Mode to Field: How Do Texts Communicate Meaning? Who or what is involved? What is happening? Who or what is involved? Where? This expansion forcessome of the water out of the ground (…) ParticipantProcessParticipantCircumstance

15 Abstract Participants Found frequently in science and social studies text. Meaning compacted into a word or phrase: “This expansion,” eruption, erosion, natural selection The Depression, economic growth, movement, development Students must recognize the meanings of these complex nouns.

16 Reference Susie: Yuk! That piece has got a brown spot on it. I want a different one! In social text, shared context helps point to what we’re talking about. There are many species of spiders. While a few live in fresh water, the majority are land dwellers. In academic text, there is little or no shared context to help the reader.

17 Advantages of a Functional Perspective Grammar helps us communicate meaning We can help students understand how texts make meaning A functional perspective can help students become more successful readers and writers

18 What Questions Do You Have? Resources Derewianka, B. (2011). A new grammar companion for teachers. Sydney, Australia: PETAA. Fang, Z., & Schleppegrell, M. (2008). Reading in the secondary content areas: A functional perspective. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press. Humphrey, S., Droga, L., & Feez, S. (2012). Grammar and meaning. Newtown, Australia: PETAA.


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