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Reinstantiation of Meanings in Scaffolding ESL Academic Literacy: Teacher


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Title: Reinstantiation of Meanings in Scaffolding ESL Academic Literacy: Teacher

Reinstantiation of Meanings in Scaffolding ESL
Academic Literacy Teachers Talk around the Text
in the Reading to Learn Program Liu Yi Shenzhen
Reading to Learn Program
  • Reading to Learn is a literacy program designed
    to enable all learners to read and write
    successfully(Rose 2003, 2004, 2005).
  • It is a Sydney School approach to genre pedagogy,
    grounded on a functional model of language
    founded by Michael Halliday (1994) and a theory
    of genre developed by Martin and his colleagues
    (Martin 1993, 2001 Rothery 1989,1994)

1. Preparing before Reading orients students to
the genre and field of the text. 2. Detailed
Reading the teacher supports all students to
read each sentence in a short passage. 3.
Preparing for Writing students take down notes
and plan what they are going to write, based
closely on the passage they have studied in
Detailed Reading. 4. Joint Rewriting the teacher
supports the class to rewrite a paragraph that is
patterned on the reading text. 5. Individual
Rewriting students practice writing a new text
using the same patterns as the reading and Joint
Rewriting texts. 6. Independent Writing students
use what they have learnt from the preceding
stages to write an independent text
Prepare before Reading
  • The teacher prepares students to understand a
    text by
  • 1. providing background information of the field,
  • 2. explaining what the text is about,
  • 3. making a detailed summary.

Scaffolding steps for detailed reading
  • 1, sentence paraphrase
  • 2, a position cue
  • 3, word meaning
  • 4, reading the cotext
  • 5, asking students to identify the relevant part
    of a sentence.

A typical Example
  • Now this sentence starts(position) by telling us
    which policy it was. It was a policy that
    repressed people(meaning). Can anybody at this
    table tell me what that policy was? The
    governments policies of ?(reading the cotext).

Detailed Reading interaction cycle
  • sentence meaning
  • where to look
  • meaning of the wording

  • define words

  • explain concepts
  • affirm
  • discuss experience
  • highlight

Research on Reading to Learn
  • Based on Beinsteins topology of theories of
    instruction, Martin (2004) categorizes Reading to
    Learn as visible and interventionist pedagogy and
    outlines its major features.
  • Martin (2004) also analyses the exchange
    structure of the micro-interaction in the
    Detailed Reading stage.

Research on Reading to Learn
  • In an investigation of the impact of the program
    at Wiltja, McRae et al. (2000) demonstrate the
    approach is effective for indigenous students at
    both the primary and secondary level as
    significant increases in student achievement have
    been measured.

Research on Reading to Learn
  • In an evaluation of the Years 7-10 English
    Aboriginal Support Pilot Project, Carbines et al
    (2005) find the pedagogy helpful in building
    students confidence and preparing them tackle
    new reading situations. Though the approach is
    designed for slower students, teachers have
    witnesses a general improvement level in all

Research on Reading to Learn
  • Rose et al. (2003) introduce the approach to
    Koori Center, University of Sydney and record
    outstanding success with Indigenous adults
    preparing to enter tertiary studies. Students
    have made improvements in reading as demonstrated
    by their ability to write summaries of what they
    have read.

Research on Reading to Learn
  • Joyce, Hood Rose (2008) investigate the impact
    of Reading to Learn on adult literacy and finds
    that the pedagogy is effective in helping ESL
    adult learners improve their reading and writing

Need for Further Linguistic Analysis of Reading
to Learn in the Classroom
  • Linguistic Analysis of R2L is limited to a few
    ideal samples in the demonstration lessons by
    David Rose.
  • No systematic classroom analysis has been made of
    how R2L is adapted in different contexts across
    primary, secondary and tertiary levels.
  • No systematic discourse analysis has been made of
    teachers talk around the text in R2L.

Classroom Discourse Analysis from SFL perspectives
  • Christie (2002) explored the relationship between
    the regulative and instructional registers in
    both primary and secondary classrooms. The
    regulative register determines the pacing,
    sequencing and management of the pedagogic
    activity as well as the criterion for evaluation
    of performance while the instructional register
    takes the responsibility of identifying the
    instructional fields.

Christies Findings
  • Christies analysis of curriculum genres and
    macro-genres demonstrates that the instructional
    register is projected from the regulative
  • The regulative register is fore-grounded in the
    mental processes and the instructional is
    embedded in the participant role of Phenomenon.
  • The principles for evaluation of performance
    remain implicit in the progressive classroom.

Christies Findings
  • Teacher talk is marked by textual themes.
    Teachers use positive polarity and identifying
    processes to assert their authority.
  • Conclusion Effective teaching and learning
    activity results from the regulation of the
    regulative register by expression through the
    voice of the instructional register.

Classroom Discourse Analysis from SFL perspectives
  • Yong and Nguyen (2002) examined the relationship
    between teacher talk and textbooks in a physics
    class, following the methods used by Halliday and
    Martin (1993). They analysed three aspects of
    scientific meaning representations of physical
    and mental reality, lexical packaging and the
    rhetorical structure of reasoning.

Yong and Nguyens Findings
  • In the representations of the physical reality,
    material processes are used frequently in both
    the textbook and the teacher talk. However, the
    textbook employs the passive voice and third
    person verbs, placing its reader as an observer
    while the teacher talk contains mostly first
    person verbs and no passive voice, enabling the
    teacher to participate effectively in the action.

Yong and Nguyens Findings
  • Despite the frequent use of relational processes
    in both the textbook and the teacher talk, the
    textbook writer expresses relational meanings in
    a far greater variety of ways, achieving more
    precision, but at the cost of increasing
    difficulty of comprehension.
  • In terms of lexical packaging, he uses more
    grammatical metaphors, often leaving them
    unpacked while the teacher always unpacks his
    grammatical metaphors with his gestures, body
    movement and verbal expression.

The Setting of the Present Study
  • The Reading to Learn pedagogy is currently being
    incorporated into a writing course entitled
    Intensive Academic Writing (IAW) at a center for
    English teaching in an Australian university.
    This is a pre-sessional five week course mostly
    for Chinese students preparing to enter a
    post-graduate program in the university. The
    course consists of the following components
    Genre Analysis, Report Task, Writing Skills,
    Readings and Lectures. In each week, two
    two-hour teaching sessions are devoted to
    scaffolded reading , covering both paraphrase and
    summary writing.

Purpose of the Present Study
. What features of academic discourse are
elaborated? How
  • This study will focus on teacher talk around the
    text in the Preparation and Detailed Reading
    phases. It explores relations between elaboration
    and academic discourse. What linguistic devices
    are employed in scaffolding academic readings?
    How does meaning shift from an academic text to
    teachers elaboration on it? In what ways are
    commitment resources deployed to scaffold
    academic readings?

Commitment Resources as Scaffolding Strategies in
the Deconstruction Stage
  • Generalization
  • Metadiscourse
  • Demetaphorization
  • Contextualization and attitudinal commitments in
    elaboration of technical terms

Purpose of the Present Study
  • The analysis is based on two demonstration
    lessons given by David Rose (2003) and six
    audio-taped classroom lessons given by three
    centre teachers.  The examples selected will be
    marked respectively by DR(David Rose), CT1(Center
    Teacher 1), CT2(Center Teacher 2) and CT3(Center
    Teacher 3).

Theoretical Framework
Instantiation is a hierarchy of ... generality
recurrent patterns specialize as
registers/genres, text types, texts and
readings potentiality overall potential in
relation to subpotentializations
  • (...) the amount of meaning potential activated
    in a particular process of instantiation - the
    relative semantic weight of a text in other
    words (Martin 2008 45).
  • how many optional choices for meaning are taken
    up and
  • how generally the choices a text subscribes to
    are instantiated (degree of delicacy)

  • (...) process of moving up the hierarchy,
    opening up the meaning potential as we move, and
    then taking advantage of this under-specification
    of meaning to reinstate (the meaning potential)
    in a novel text (Martin 2007).

  • There are many areas in which instantiation,
    conceived along these lines can be deployed.
  • Within texts, it is relevant to periodicity,
    since higher level Themes and News combine
    meanings with less commitment than lower level
  • Between texts, there are the practices of
    note-taking, precis writing and abridgment to be
    examined, all of which have special reference to
    the ongoing problem of plagiarism in apprentice
  • Between modalities, the complementary affordances
    of different semiotic systems lead to texts with
    complementary degrees of commitment, a crucial
    dimension of the inter-modal synergy they
  • Across languages, the practices of both
    translating and interpreting are of special
    relevance, again with respect to the affordances
    and predispositions of one language and culture
    in relation to another, and the amount of meaning
    potential that has to be opened up before a
    responsible re-instantiation can be enacted (...)

Intralingual intertextual reinstantiaiton
  • Hood (2008) proposes some categories as potential
    resources for managing levels of commitment in
    the process of rewriting a source text. She
    discusses shifts of ideational meanings in terms
    of generalization, abstraction, grammatical
    metaphor, lexical metaphor and infusion. As
    regards interpersonal perspective on commitment,
    appraisal meanings shift in complex ways.

I. Generalization
  • Haliday and Matthiessen(1999615) regard
    generalization as a relationship allowing for
    the development of extended taxonomies.
    Following Haliday and Hasans model of
    reiteration(1976), generalization is a cline of
    increasing generality that ranges from
    repetition, synonomy, through superordination and
    general nouns to personal reference items.

  • De/classification relations between classes and
  • De/composition relations between wholes and
  • De/nomination relations between categories and

Haliday and Hasans Example(1976279)
  • I turned to the ascent of the peak. The ascent (
    climb, task, thing or it) is perfectly easy.

Generalization as commitment resources
  • Generalization refers to a type of commitment
    relationships within a sentence or/and between
    sentences where one entity more general is
    related to something more specific or vice versa.
    It may be considered as a cline of different
    degrees of delicacy.

Generalization Use of repetition
  • CT2 Sentence four tells us that this difference,
    the difference between Singapore and Chinese
    people can be explained by differences in living
    standards and the quality of goods in the two

Generalization Use of synonyms
  • One explanation for this difference may be the
    stage of economic development in each country and
    the standard of quality of available goods.
  • CT2 The reason they give for this is they look
    at the different level of development of the two
    countries. Singapore is at a more advanced stage
    than China

Generalization Use of superordinates(
  • DR The particular time were going to look at is
    this one here, the mid-1980s, so its 1984, 1985,

Generalization use of superordinates
  • CT2 first of all culture did not make any
    difference in three kinds of decision making
    styles. And these were quality consciousness,
    recreation consciousness and brand loyalty and
    culture made no difference in those three areas,
    the very different cultures of Singapore and

Generalization Use of superordinates (
  • CT2 The reason they give for this is they look
    at the different level of development of the two
    countries. Singapore is at a more advanced stage
    than China.

Generalization Use of general nouns
  • In China, the quality of goods is not consistent
    (Fan Xiao, 1998), thus, quality would be an
    important purchase criteria.
  • CT2 Whereas in China, things are a little
    uneven, so people need to be more careful about

Generalization Use of general nouns
  • CT2 Er, people from Singapore. Can you see the
    phrase that means people from Singapore,
    Sophie, in that sentence? Sentence three.
    Sophie is not paying attention. I will make a
    note and I will record it here. (Laughter). Ok,
    people from Singapore.
  • S Participants.
  • CT2 Absolutely.


Generalization Use of personal reference items
  • CT2 first of all culture did not make any
    difference in three kinds of decision making
    styles. And these were quality consciousness,
    recreation consciousness and brand loyalty and
    culture made no difference in those three areas,
    the very different cultures of Singapore and

Generalization as scaffolding strategies
  • The use of repetition, synonyms, superordinates
    and general nouns in the teachers talk helps to
    explain academic texts as well as elicitate
    appropriate responses from students. Teaching is
    conducted along the continuum from general to

II. Metadiscourse
  • When teachers introduce a text and paraphrase it,
    they often use terms from traditional grammar
    such as word, phrase, sentence, paragraph and
    heading and a category of abstract nouns or noun
    groups variously known as A-nouns (Francis,
    1986), signalling nouns (Flowerdew 2003) and
    shell nouns (Schmid 2000). They do not serve as
    referents only, but also as an important
    commitment resources for scaffolding purposes.

Shell nouns (Schmid, 2000)
  • Factual fact, thing
  • Linguistic message, rumour, question
  • Mental idea, notion
  • Modal possibility, obligation
  • Eventive act, attempt
  • Circumstantial situation, place, area, approach.

  • DRThe headings called Revolutionary days.
  • CT1 Ok, now the paper is called Cross-Cultural
    Differences in Consumer Decision-Making Styles
  • CT1 The journal is called Cross Cultural

  • DR This little part of the textbook, this little
    story, is about why the violence started in the
    townships at that time, and what happened, and
    who was involved.
  • DR So the first paragraph here at the very top,
    this paragraph here at the top is about the
  • CT3 This text is mainly about the IT or software

  • CT2 ...but they found one big difference. They
    were not as conscious of quality. Ok, people in
    Mainland China are very quality conscious.
  • .

  • CT2 Specifically, they, one surprising result
    was that Singapore people were very different
    from Chinese customers in Mainland China.

Topicalization plus exemplification
  • DR So the first paragraph here at the very top,
    this paragraph here at the top is about the
    issue. The issue is there are always arguments
    about immigration, but its good for Australia.

Topicalization plus layers of exemplification
  • The second paragraph is talking about er only one
    dimension. It is talking about brand
    consciousness. And here they found that
    Australian customers were more brand conscious
    than Singaporeans.

  • DR As I say some people are afraid of new
    cultures coming in, but Linda Rolls says its
    very good for Australia, because er we got new
    ideas, we got different foods, different arts, er
    different clothes. And Australia is a much
    richer place for those reasons.

Metadiscourse as scaffolding strategies
  • Metadiscourse helps teachers identify the heading
    of a text, introduce the theme of a paragraph and
    draw students attention to a relevant part of a
    sentence or a paragraph. It also functions as an
    important means to specify abstraction with

III. Demetaphorication Role of grammatical
  • Grammatical metaphor is identified as the key
    linguistic resources for construal of vertical
    discourse. Martin (2010) demonstrates the
    critical role grammatical metaphor plays in
    construing verticality. With nominal groups
    realizing processes and qualities, grammatical
    metaphor builds up abstraction, enabling the
    construction of vertical discourse. With Agentive
    relationships realized by verbal groups achieving
    the cause in the clause effect, the
    metaphorical device helps to construct a deep
    level of theorization.

  • As grammatical metaphor may constitute an
    obstacle to students comprehension,it requires
    pedagogical treatment. Teachers paraphrase of
    grammatical metaphor is a process of
    demetaphorication by means of unpacking and

Unpacking Grammatical Metaphor
  • When grammatical metaphors are unpacked, there
    are apparent shifts from vertical discourse to
    horizontal discourse. In unpacking experiential
    metaphors, congruence takes the place of
    incongruence, thus reducing the semantic load.
    The process of restoration is localized and
    context-dependent. Meanwhile, the shifts of
    meaning are double-barreled. In the case of
    nominalized grammatical metaphor, the unpacking
    misses certain connotations implied but reveals
    the people and the thing meant to be elided.

Unpacking Grammatical Metaphor
  • When it comes to logical metaphor, the use of
    explicit conjunction makes explicit the internal
    conjunctive relations though it may affect the
    grading of probability. To facilitate students
    understanding of explanations and arguments in
    academic texts, teachers talk may begin with a
    meta-explanation summarizing the inherent links
    among the sentences.

Unpacking Grammatical Metaphor
  • expectations what we expect, what people expect
    from a process.
  • Repression repress the people repression means
    you are keeping people down, you are repressing
    them. (changing incongruence into congruence)

unpacking grammatical metaphor
  • DR Who can tell me the words that mean angry and
  • S Anger and fear.
  • DR Can you see the word that means people were
    rebelling? South African politics erupted in a
  • S Rebellion.

Unpacking Grammatical Metaphor
  • The governments policies of repression had bred
    anger and fear. Its policies of reform had given
    rise to expectations amongst black people of
    changes which the government had been unable to
  • DR And there were two reasons for this. Because
    the government, on one side they had a policy to
    keep the people down, to repress the people with
    the police and the army. And of course this make
    the people very angry and frightened.

unpacking grammatical metaphor
  • CT2 And it tells us that it may be something
    which is the same for both Australian and
    Singaporean consumers. Ok, er, what is that? The
    same for both Australians and Singaporeans. It
    means they assume the products will be pretty
    good. What is the phrase in the sentence, Sophy?
    Yeah, yeah, following that. Can you see? It
    tells us that it is something that they assume
    will be good. How is it said here? May be a
    basic assumption. So underline a basic

Defining grammatical metaphor
  • CT2 Sherry, can you see the phrase that tells us
    they agree? The phrase that says the results
    agree. What words show us that?
  • S Consistency.
  • CT2 Consistency. So show consistency.
    Underline show consistency. What word tells us
    that they disagree, Jessica?
  • SConflict.
  • CT2Conflict. Absolutely. Very good. Underline
    conflict or highlight conflict.

IV Meanings committed in elaboration of
technical terms
  • Elaboration of technical terms is accompanied by
    shifts from abstraction to contextualization.
    Technical terms are discipline-specific. Abstract
    technical terms often originate from grammatical
    metaphors. Martin (2007) argues that grammatical
    metaphor loses itself in definitions and change
    into the technical term, thus achieving the
    distilling impact of technicality.

Meanings Committed in Elaboration of Technical
  • Elaboration is meant to weaken such technicality.
    Teachers tend to scaffold reading by
    contextualizing technical terms with citation of
    concrete examples, real or imagined.

Meanings Committed in Elaboration of Technical
  • In social sciences and humanities, technical
    terms are often axiologically charged, invoking
    different attitudinal reactions among readers
    with different political inclinations. Naturally
    when a teacher elaborates a technical term,
    he/she usually infuses his/her attitudes into the
    elaboration which may not necessarily be the
    authors point of view. This is especially the
    case in the humanities.

Contextualization in elaboration of technical
  • CT2 Ok, and the second part of the sentence
    tells us that quality will be an important reason
    for buying, an important reason for buying. Can
    you see the phrase, Johnson, that means the
    reason for buying? Absolutely purchase
    criterion. So underline purchase criterion. So
    what is criterion? Criterion is the way we
    judge something. Ok, when we mark your writing
    for example, we have criteria. The plural of
    criterion is criteria. We mark for grammar, for
    vocabulary, for staging. So for purchase
    criterion, the reason for buying.

Contextualization in elaboration of technical
  • CT3 So norms. When you open the door for me, I
    will say thank you. It is our norms to do so.
    But different cultures have different norms

Contextualization in elaboration of technical
  • CT1 Now they had another category. And that was
    called overchoice. We are going to see that in
    this reading so we need to know. Overchoice is
    too much choice? Or not enough choice. Too much
    choice. Whos been into a supermarket in Sydney?
    Whos been to Coles or Woolsworth in Sydney? Ok,
    did you notice as you were walking along the
    isles that you have one kind of product but
    fifteen different choices? Yes. Can you think
    of an example? Whats that. Bread. Bread,
    yeah. What sort of bread would you like? White
    bread or brown bread? Or dark bread? Or you
    like cakes? Yes. What sort of cakes would you
    like? Chocolate cakes, ok. You go to a
    supermarket and how many different types of
    chocolate cakes are there? Many kinds. Many
    kinds, ok. Overchoice. What products have you
    talked there? Chips. Good heavens.

Contextualization in elaboration of technical
terms plus attitudinal commitment
  • CT1 When you have a lot of choices, its
    difficult to make decision for chips for
    chocolate, for cakes. So its difficult to make
  • CT1 So overchoice is not a problem for you.
    Its a problem for me.(Laughter) I get lost in
    washing powder, washing powder to wash clothes.
    Do you have difficulties trying to decide which
    one you want? Yeah, do you have difficulties
    trying to decide? Yeah. I do. I am dazed. Oh I
    could have that one. But oh,(gesturing showing
    at a loss as to which one to choose). Yeah,
    overchoice. Thats another category which is
    mentioned in this reading.

Contextualization in elaboration of technical
terms plus attitudinal commitment
  • Ex.White Australia policy, ok, some people have
    heard about it? In the before the 1972 the
    government policy was called White Australia
    policy It kept people from Africa and Asia away
    from Australia. So people from Asia and Africa
    were not allowed to come to Australia. So its a
    racist policy. Worse than discrimination. That
    policy was changed when the labor government came
    in in 1972.

Topicalization plus despecification as signpost
  • To start with, there were no cultural differences
    in quality consciousness, recreation
    consciousness and brand loyalty decision-making
    styles. ( Kendall, 1986).
  • CT2 Now paragraph eight er is talking in general
    terms about the findings in the text.
  • Commitment decreases as the findings is used to
    refer to the specific result provided in the
    original text.

Elaboration for clarifying the interpretation
  • This means that the results show both consistency
    and conflict with previous research.
  • . And they are saying that the findings show that
    they both agree and disagree with the previous
    results. Some of the results agree with what
    other have found and others disagree.

Making exemplification more explicit
  • In particular, the participants from Singapore
    had unexpectedly low levels of quality
    consciousness compared to Chinese consumers who
    had moderately high levels (Fan Xiao, 1998).
  • Specifically, they, one surprising result was
    that Singapore people were very different from
    Chinese customers in Mainland China. Most people
    in Singapore, many people in Singapore are
    Chinese as you know. So they thought they would
    be very similar in their buying, in their
    decision making style, but they found one big
    difference. They were not as conscious of
    quality. Ok, people in Mainland China are very
    quality conscious.

Making the logical link more explicit
  • One explanation for this difference may be the
    stage of economic development in each country and
    the standard of quality of available goods
  • CT2 The reason they give for this is they look
    at the different level of development of the two
    countries. Singapore is at a more advanced stage
    than China.)

Making abstract concrete
  • In China, the quality of goods is not consistent
    (Fan Xiao, 1998), thus, quality would be an
    important purchase criteria.
  • Whereas in China, things are a little uneven, so
    people need to be more careful about it.

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