Genre Pedagogy Across the Curriculum - Theory and Application in U.S. Classrooms and Contexts - Luciana de Oliveira

Genre Pedagogy Across the Curriculum - Theory and Application in U.S. Classrooms and Contexts - Luciana de Oliveira

Systemic Functional Linguistics Approach to Teaching Literary Narratives: Semiotic Resource in Generating Critical Language Awareness

Genre Pedagogy Across the Curriculum - Theory and Application in U.S. Classrooms and Contexts - Luciana de Oliveira

Ruth Harman [+-]
University of Massachusetts - Amherst
Ruth Harman is an associate professor in the Language and Literacy Department at the University of Georgia. Her research focuses on how critical SFL-informed pedagogies, along with creative arts-based approaches, can be used to support the cultural and linguistic interests and needs of emergent bilingual and bidialectal students in K–12 contexts. At UGA she teaches systemic functional linguistics, critical discourse analysis, and second language literacy, and is involved in collaborative action research with local ESOL teachers and students.
Amber M. Simmons [+-]
University of Georgia
Amber M. Simmons received her PhD in Language and Literacy Education from the University of Georgia and currently works in the Gwinnett County School District in Georgia. Her previous work, published in English Journal, Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, and SIGNAL Journal, focused on using adolescent and traditional texts in the classroom to support critical literacy. Amber’s more recent work centers on implementing critical systemic functional linguistics and discourse analysis methods in the classroom as a way to encourage an ELA curriculum that focuses on language as a social process.

Description

Literary narratives, ranging from traditional folk tales to experimental fiction, are one of the most privileged genres in high school English Language Arts classrooms. However, rarely do teachers and students analyze how particular patterns of language (e.g. transitivity, modality) function to construct characters, settings and ideological world views in these social texts (e.g. Culler, 1975; Lukin, 2008). In this critical literary project, students were taught how to use a functional linguistic analysis to make visible the ways in which J.K. Rowling configures power relations between characters, and manipulates the reader to think and feel in particular ways. Our chapter first provides a literature review on literary narratives and their instructional potential to foster critical literacy. It then chronicles how an urban high school teacher immersed her students in an SFL analysis of the patterns of appraisal, identification and modality in Harry Potter. This apprenticeship provided students with linguistic resources to support and refute various critical readings of the narrative (e.g. related to gender, social power relations). The chapter concludes by discussing how a similar critical SFL instructional approach to this literary genre can be used to engage high school students in thinking critically about the relationship between language, power and world view.

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Citation

Harman, Ruth; Simmons, Amber . Systemic Functional Linguistics Approach to Teaching Literary Narratives: Semiotic Resource in Generating Critical Language Awareness. Genre Pedagogy Across the Curriculum - Theory and Application in U.S. Classrooms and Contexts. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 75-91 Nov 2014. ISBN 9781845532413. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=24923. Date accessed: 18 Aug 2022 doi: 10.1558/equinox.24923. Nov 2014

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