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ERIC Number: EJ1109642
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1358-684X
Why School English Needs a "Good Enough" Grammatics (and Not More Grammar)
Macken-Horarik, Mary
Changing English: Studies in Culture and Education, v19 n2 p179-194 2012
At the dawn of a national curriculum for English in Australia, grammar has appeared without any serious interrogation of the terms of its re-entry and against ambiguous evidence about its value for teaching writing. What kinds of knowledge about language do teachers need in rhetorically productive teaching? This article investigates the potential of Halliday's notion of grammatics for understanding students' writing as acts of meaning in context. Drawing on systemic-functional linguistics, I show how teachers can assess writing achievement using "big picture" tools like genre, register and "small picture" tools like Expansion. I apply these tools to two student texts that call for attention to creative uses of language and to excursions and to difficulties with logic and coherence. The paper concludes that a "good enough" grammatics will enable teachers to recognize playful developments in students' texts and also to foster their control of literate discourse.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A