Publication Details

Cochrane, I., Reece, A., Ahearn, K. & Jones, P. (2013). Grammar in the early years: A games-based approach. PETAA Paper, 192 1-12.


The Language strand of the Australian Curriculum: English provides scope for students to develop their understandings of how an author's purpose drives specific language choices in texts, including the use of a range of clause structures and word groups, and patterns of cohesion across texts (ACARA, 2013). This functionally oriented grammar content, and the metalanguage associated with it, needs to be explicitly taught so that students can confidently analyse the deliberate language choices made by authors, as well as make informed personal choices when developing and expressing ideas in their own texts. This paper will model the manner in which one school developed and integrated the teaching of grammar, from a functional perspective, into existing literacy session routines. In particular, the paper details how a dialogic approach (Alexander, 2008) and a framework of games-based pedagogies were used in the Early Years classrooms within the context of an author study. The paper demonstrates high levels of student engagement with the functionally oriented grammar content and details their new knowledge and understandings through peer interactions and their written work.