‘We Can Speak to the World’: Applying Meta-linguistic Knowledge for Specialized and Reflexive Literacies

  • Sally HumphreyEmail author
Part of the Educational Linguistics book series (EDUL, volume 33)


This chapter reports on the work of one teacher and her students in an urban multicultural high school as they applied their growing knowledge of language to access and deconstruct discourses of power across rhetorical contexts. Informed by Australian models of Critical SFL praxis (Martin JR, Rose D, Genre relations: mapping culture. London, Equinox, 2008; Macken-Horarik M, Literacy and learning across the curriculum: towards a model of register from secondary school teachers. In R Hasan, G Williams (eds) Literacy in society. London, Longman, pp 232–278, 1996a; Macken-Horarik M, Construing the invisible: specialised literacy practices in Junior Secondary English. Dissertation, University of Sydney, 1996b), as well as by international research in literacy education and sociology (Bernstein B, Pedagogy, symbolic control and identity: theory, research, critique. London, Taylor & Francis, 1996; Maton K, Knowledge and Knowers: towards a realist sociology of education. London, Routledge, 2014; Rose D, Martin JR, Learning to write, reading to learn: Genre, knowledge and pedagogy in the Sydney school. Sheffield, Equinox, 2012; Schleppegrell M, The language of schooling: a functional linguistics perspective. Mahwah, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2004; Schleppegrell M, The role of meta-language in supporting academic language development. Language Learning 63(1):153–170. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9922.2012.00742.x., 2013), the chapter focuses on the crucial role of meta-language in expanding the critical social literacies of socio-economically and linguistically marginalized adolescent students.


Critical social literacies Systemic functional linguistics Genre pedagogy Discourse semantics Appraisal 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Australian Catholic UniversitySydneyAustralia

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