Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: Obama, Rudd and a grammar for rhetoric in the National English Curriculum
Contributor(s): Love, Kristina (author); Macken-Horarik, Mary  (author)
Publication Date: 2009
Handle Link:
Abstract: Element 1 of the National Curriculum for English calls for a "coherent, dynamic, and evolving body of knowledge" about English (National Curriculum Board, 2008:1). But just what kinds of knowledge about language will enable the profession to create such a body of knowledge? And how do teachers help students to apply this to interpretation of the complex multimodal texts of senior study? What is the place of grammar in this? In this paper, we explore the possibilities of systemic functional grammar for deepening students' understanding of an increasingly powerful genre in English and in the community – the public speech. Two recent examples include Kevin Rudd's 'Apology' and Barack Obama's 'Victory' speeches. Both served in somewhat different ways to galvanize people to new hope in their elected leaders and to new ways of imagining 21st century government. Both work through a rhetoric of alignment – grounding argument in narrative and abstraction and using evaluative language to position readers and listeners ethically and emotionally. The texts represent a powerful site for analysing the power of rhetoric at different levels. In this paper, we draw on systemic functional linguistics (SFL) to outline how text-level resources, such as genre, tenor and mode, can be integrated with lower-level resources, such as appraisal, to generate "particular emotional, intellectual and philosophical effects" in speeches. We argue that teachers and their students need access to a multi-level metalanguage if they are to compare and contrast texts and undertake close language study, especially in senior English. Our conclusions explore the implications of our framework for deepening students' understandings about the complex interplay of language choices in some early 21st rhetoric.
Publication Type: Conference Publication
Conference Name: 2009 AATE/ALEA National Conference - Bridging Divides: Ensuring access, equity and quality in literacy and English education, Hobart, Tasmania, 9th - 10th July, 2009
Conference Details: 2009 AATE/ALEA National Conference - Bridging Divides: Ensuring access, equity and quality in literacy and English education, Hobart, Tasmania, 9th - 10th July, 2009
Source of Publication: Refereed Paper from the 2009 AATE/ALEA National Conference
Publisher: Australian Association for the Teaching of English (AATE) & Australian Literacy Education Association (ALEA)
Place of Publication: Online
Field of Research (FOR): 130202 Curriculum and Pedagogy Theory and Development
130204 English and Literacy Curriculum and Pedagogy (excl LOTE, ESL and TESOL)
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 930202 Teacher and Instructor Development
930302 Syllabus and Curriculum Development
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: E1 Refereed Scholarly Conference Publication
Other Links:
Statistics to Oct 2018: Visitors: 344
Views: 360
Downloads: 0
Appears in Collections:Conference Publication

Files in This Item:
2 files
File Description SizeFormat 
Show full item record

Page view(s)

checked on May 3, 2019
Google Media

Google ScholarTM


Items in Research UNE are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.