Learning the grammatics of quoted speech: benefits for punctuation and expressive reading

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8 Citations (Scopus)


The integration of knowledge about grammar ('grammatics') within The Australian Curriculum: English could be expected to be more useful to students than grammar taught in isolation, although the potential benefits of an integrated approach to teaching grammatics remain somewhat under-researched. This paper describes a case study in which Year 2 children were taught the grammatics of quoted ('direct') speech using a language description informed by systemic functional grammar. The teaching of grammatics was integrated with literacy and literature studies, although the focus of the paper is not on instruction per se but on the benefits of instruction for children's learning. The children were able to use their knowledge of verbal Processes ('saying verbs') to improve their punctuation of quoted speech and to become more aware of using expression in oral reading of dialogue. Evidence for these claims is provided in the form of pre- and post-tests of punctuation, oral readings of a picture book and interview data. The findings are interpreted using Vygotskian theory, particularly the significance of the conscious control of 'scholarly' knowledge and the role of explicit and integrated approaches to teaching in helping students develop higher order understandings of language.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)206-222
Number of pages17
JournalAustralian Journal of Language and Literacy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


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