Pre-conference institutes will happen on both Monday, 30 Sept and Tuesday, 1 Oct. Each course occurs over two days.

Download the PDF version of the Pre-Conference Institute Program here.

Course descriptions

>>Morning sessions<<

Training Teachers in Reading to Learn: Handing over control

Dr David Rose


The Reading to Learn teacher professional learning program has evolved over two decades of action research with teachers and their classrooms. It has four broad components:

  • an analysis of knowledge genres in the school that enables teachers to guide reading and writing using actual curriculum texts,
  • design of curriculum genres that enables teachers to provide appropriate levels of support for all students to read and write successfully in all grades and curriculum areas,
  • analysis and design of teacher/learner interactions that enable teachers to engage and support every student in their classes to read in depth and detail and use the language they have learnt from reading in their writing,
  • an approach to knowledge about language that enables every teacher to access key concepts in grammar and discourse semantics, and apply them in their teaching.

The aim of this workshop is to introduce these components of the professional learning program, with a view to participants being able to deliver it with their own students, whether these students are practising or preservice teachers, or students in classrooms.

Sets of workshop activities have been designed for each component of the program. Some of these activities will be practised in the conference workshop, together with time for discussion on theory and application in educational settings. Workshop 1 will focus on analysing knowledge genres and designing curriculum genres. Workshop 2 will focus on designing classroom interactions and knowledge about language.

Systemic phonology: Analysing rhythm and intonation

Dr Brad Smith

Bradley Smith

Intonation and rhythm are generally recognised within the SFL tradition as playing crucial roles in language and meaning making in discourse, while nevertheless remaining neglected in most SFL discourse analysis. A major hurdle is a perception of the difficulty of learning how to do phonological analysis and conducting such analysis. The analysis of intonation and rhythm involves the interface of meaning and expression, the abstract and material, in a way that written discourse does not; and phonological analysis of authentic spoken discourse is intensive and complex. This workshop will aim to provide an accessible introduction to the phonological analysis of rhythm and intonation, using Halliday’s description of these systems and drawing on work by van Leeuwen. We will listen closely to sound in authentic spoken discourse, identifying the sound distinctions in discourse that signify the various choices available within these systems. We will discuss difficulties in phonological analysis and explore ways of dealing with these difficulties, relying on the social semiotic approach and the technique of ‘listening for meaning’. Systems addressed will be rhythm, salience, tonicity, tonality and tone. The aim is to demystify the process of analysing these phonological systems and encourage their analysis and use in general linguistic and discourse analysis within our field. As with the analysis of any systems, there is a learning curve required. However, as with all SFL analysis, the learning curve and complexity are compensated by what such analysis reveals about spoken texts.


Dr Peter R.R. White

The Appraisal framework provides a systematic account of the ways in which speakers/writers convey positive and negative assessments, strengthen or weaken their utterances and position themselves relative to what others have said on the current topic or might say in response to what is being asserted.  By reference to this account of the resources of “evaluative meaning”, it becomes possible to develop enhanced understandings of, for example, the communicative workings of different genres, what is expected of student writers at different stages of their literacy development, the basis on which some texts are persuasive and some less so, how speakers/writers construe for themselves different identities and personae, and so on.

The course will provide a basic introduction to Appraisal, exploring the mechanisms by which the above “evaluative”  meanings are formulated and guidance in the ways in which they can be sub-classified.  Participants will gain experience in applying the framework in the analysis of a range of different text types, including student writing, advanced academic writing, journalism, arts-and-entertainment communications and advertising.

>>Afternoon sessions<<

Legitimation Code Theory

Prof Karl Maton

Workshop descriptions to be posted soon.

Body Language and Gesture: Exploring a social semiotic model of body language in analysing pedagogic discourse

Sue Hood

Sue Hood

In explorations of classroom discourse it is generally acknowledged that interactions are mediated across multiple semiotic modes. Even if we cannot attend to all at once, we appreciate that meanings are made in spoken and written language, in visual images of many types and in features of the pedagogic space. But there is also the often-overlooked semiotic potential of the lecturer’s /teacher’s body language to be considered. The aim of the course is to begin to explore this potential with reference to current work on theorising body language as paralanguage from on SFL perspective (Ngo et al. forthcoming). We want to consider how meanings (ideational, interpersonal and textual) are expressed convergently in the two semiotic modes of spoken language and paralanguage. The data used to model meaning in paralanguage come from video recordings of live undergraduate lectures in a variety of disciplinary fields. We’ll work to build a theoretical base for interpreting and trained eyes for observing the semiosis of the body in action.


Ngo, T., S. Hood, J.R. Martin, C. Painter, B. Smith & M. Zappavigna (forthcoming),
Modelling Paralanguage Using Systemic Functional Semiotics, London: Bloomsbury.

Corpus Linguistics

 A/Prof. Monika Bednarek


This hands-on workshop will introduce participants to corpus linguistics – the computer-based analysis of text. It will provide an overview of current tools that are available, and also cover key issues such as language encoding, file types, and tagging. In the workshop, participants will learn how to use corpus linguistic software and apply it to a range of languages. The workshop does not require prior expertise in computer software or programming.