Year

1991

Degree Name

Master of Education (Hons.)

Department

Faculty of Education

Abstract

This study examines the extent to which two students develop control over the expository genre of writing in their creation of historical texts.

Halliday's functional model of language provides the linguistic theoretical framework for the study.

Year 10 History students were exposed to a style of teaching which was based on the Disadvantaged Schools Program's pedagogical framework; 'The Curriculum Genre'. Interactive guidance and assistance were at the core of teaching strategies used by the teacher/researcher.

Ten essays written by two Year 10 students were analysed in terms of generic (schematic) structure, themes/reference, conjunctions and nomina/,isations, participants and processes.

The findings of the study showed that the students' competency as 'empowered' writers developed during the study period. This was evident in their increased awareness and understanding of the nature and purpose of expository essays. Both students improved in their ability to recognise and produce a well structured essay. Their selection of relevant linguistic features assisted them to create an effective expository historical discourse. However, the rate of writing development differed in each case.

A significant conclusion to be drawn from the study is that competency in writing occurs when one is able to identify and be in control of the genre in which one is expected to write.

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