genre texs by triwahyubu


          Understanding Educational Genres

                                  Muchlas Yusak
                              Widyiswara LPMP Jateng

Texts and text types or genres are now key concept in the new curriculum (Kurikulum
2004 and Standar Isi) and evidently new to many of our English teachers at the secondary
schools. The teachers are badly in need for help in equipping themselves with good
knowledge about the educational genres that they are supposed to teach to their students.
Therefore, as the teacher trainers we need to pay serious attention to those text types so
that we can assist them to make them get familiar with the text types in their in-service
teacher training.
As chances for having a discussion in such a forum as this training are relatively rare, it is
therefore good that “Reading” in this handout is then meant to go beyond reading in its
common sense as to allow us to have common understanding of the characteristics of the
various educational genres. This sort of reading, typically done during the teaching/
learning cycle called Modelling of Text, will not only make the students understand texts
better but let them write a variety of educational genres as well. Knowing the structure
and language features of such educational genres is very important because it enables
students to successfully achieve the outcomes of the school curriculum. By having a
discussion on this important issue it is hoped that we would eventually have the same
perception and understanding about the new curriculum/Standar Isi.

It is only when the teachers really know what they teach then the learning on the part of
the students would result in competencies they are supposed to have.
                                          Unit 1
In the new curriculum (Curriculum 2004 and Standar Isi/Content Standards), texts and
text types are key terms, replacing themes, which were a key concept for the previous
curriculum. While themes, such as Family and School Life, are still important, the focus
is now on text types. Another word for text types is genres.

What is a text? Texts are made of words. Words are all around us – in front of our eyes
on signs, computer screens, on the pages of books, newspapers, magazines, encyclo-
pedias, etc. Words bombard our ears, coming from radios, TVs, other people’s mouths,
etc. When words are used to make meaning, a text is created. A text can be as short as the
word No Smoking placed at gas stations, or as long as a 1000-page dictionary. It can be
written – as in a newspaper – or spoken – as when our friends tell us what time to meet at
the library. So, a text can be defined as any meaningful stretch of language – oral or

We can divide all these millions, and billions, and trillions of texts that we create into
different text types. The text types that the secondary students should be very good at are
those categorized as educational genres/text types. These are the text types that they
encounter everyday during the classes and when reading coursebooks. Here, we will
discuss only on some of them: Personal/Factual Recounts, Descriptions, Procedures,
Information reports, Explanations, and Hortatory/Analytical Expositions.

Text types come in many different text forms: Some of the text forms we see are: poems,
short stories, novels, TV news shows, explanations we give to our friend how to do an
assignment, science fiction movies, radio music shows, biology coursebooks, instruction
booklets on how to use a handphone, emails to a friend about our new computer
programme, and disagreements with our colleague about which place serves the best
Three Characteristics of Text Types

Each text type has certain typical characteristics. We can divide these characteristics into
three areas.
    The first area is the social purpose of the text type. In other words, why we write
      or speak a text type of this type. We create texts in the Instructions text type in
      order to tell others about how to do something. We create texts in the Explanations
      text type in order to describe how something, such as a computer programme,
    The second characteristic we need to look at to understand and identify a text type
      concerns the generic structure of the text type. For instance, when we create texts
      in the Narrative text type, our texts often follow three-part structure. In the first part
      of the story, we provide the background or the setting in which the story takes
      place. The second part of our Narrative text often presents a problem or conflict
      that one or more of the main characters face and how they go about confronting this
      challenge. The last part of the Narrative shows how the problem/conflict is
     Our texts in the Procedures/Instructions text type normally follow a different three-
     part structure. We begin by stating our goal, what it is we will show people how to
     do. Next, we list the materials needed to achieve the goal. Finally, we describe the
     procedure to be followed.
    The third characteristic of text types concerns their language features. By
      language features, we mean such things as the grammar, vocabulary, and connect-
      ors that we use. For instance, in our text in the Expositions text type, we often use
      modal auxiliaries, such as should, should not, must, and must not to talk about what
      we want people to do or not to do. In Personal Recount texts, we frequently use the
      past tense to tell what we saw and experienced. In texts in the Descriptions text
      type, the vocabulary we use frequently includes adjectives and adverbs to help us
      paint a word picture for our readers, listeners, or viewers. When we write texts in
      the Expositions text type, we often use connectors of cause and effect, such as
      therefore and as a result.

Complications in Text Types

Like most things in life, text types can be complicated. Some overlap exists between text
types in terms of their three characteristics – purpose, organizational structure, and
language features. For instance, we use the past tense forms of verbs as a common
language feature in a few different text types: Factual Recounts, Personal Recounts, and
Not every text in a particular text type will have all the characteristics that are common to
that text type. Further, any given text can contain characteristics of more than one text.
However, here we will discuss only texts that contain typical characteristics of that text
type and that are of mainly one text type. This will help us identify, examine, and create
good samples of that text type.
Some Concepts in Language Learning
Several concepts related to language learning can be presented here. First, it is believed
that language is best learned in context. Therefore, whole texts are included in each of the
text types, and the grammar and vocabulary practice is done within meaningful texts,
rather than in isolated sentences. It is also believed that language skills should be learned
together. That is why reading and writing are combined in the teaching and learning.
Indeed, one of the best ways to improve the ability to write in a particular text type is to
read many texts in that text type. For instance, if we want the students to become more
skilled at writing Information Reports, we will need to make them read many Information
As the students read different types of text, they should not just focus on the meaning of
the text. They should also “read like a writer.” In other words, they should be thinking
about how the authors built their texts, asking such questions as:
   a. What is the purpose of this text?
   b. What is the generic structure of this text?
   c. What tenses are used?
   d. What kind of connectors are there?
   e. What sort of vocabulary is used?

Writing is not a magical skill that some of us are born with and others lack and will never
have. Writing is like building a puzzle. We need to think logically so that the puzzle
pieces fit together well. Thus, another key concept is the need to build analytical skills
and logical thinking.
A final concept that should guide our students when they write a text is the idea of
starting with the end in mind. They need to be able to write effective texts in a variety of
text types. Writing is not like answering multiple choice questions; there is no one correct
answer. Instead, the students should be provided with the building blocks so that they can
construct their own texts that conform to general standards of what texts in a particular
text type should look like.
                                           Unit 2
                                      TEXT TYPES
The different texts that students are required to interpret and produce at school provide a
useful starting point for looking at patterns of grammar and meaning. In this module we
would like to discuss some of the text types that are important for learning in the
secondary school and further explore the relationship between text and context by
looking at:
       the social purpose and structure of different text types
       the role of different text types in learning across the school curriculum.

It is hoped that this will help establish a context for the more detailed explorations of
grammar in subsequent units.
Text types and social purpose
The way we get things done in our culture using language is through different text types
of genres. We use a particular text type depending on our social purpose. This will vary
according to the context within which we are using language – the home, the local
community, the workplace, the school etc. There are text types which inform, entertain,
argue a point, order meals, complain about services and achieve many other goals.
       The following segments of text are taken from text types encountered by one person
       over a week as they went about their daily life. Read through the segments and try

      to predict some aspects of the context of each segment. Use the questions on the
      table to guide you. A response to the first segment has been provided.

                                  What is the social        Is the segment taken from the
No.       Text Segments          purpose of the text?      beginning, middle or end of the
                                                               text? How do you know?
 1    OK, well turn on the      To instruct/teach         Beginning – I know that when
      oven first                someone how to do         cooking you generally turn on the
                                something                 oven to start with so that it’s at
                                                          the right temperature.
 2    In conclusion, bikes
      should only be ridden
      on the footpath.
 3    Once upon a time …

 4    After we visited the
      museum, we returned
      to school.
 5    The tallest hardwood
      tree in the world the
      mountain ash.
 6    This leads to soil

As the exercise above demonstrates, text types occur in order to achieve a goal or social
purpose. In order to achieve its purpose a text type has a particular structure, with parts or
stages which are clearly recognizable. Here is an example of a simple fairy story, or more
technically, a narrative. It has been annotated to show its typical structure.

Social Purpose:     To entertain and instruct trough dealing with unusual and unexpected
                    development of events.

Text structure
Orientation            Once upon a time in the middle of the forest, there lived a girl
                       named Jane with her father, a poor woodcutter.

Complication with      One day, the little girl’s father did not come home from the forest a
Evaluation             and Jane became more and more frightened that he had had an
                       accident. She didn’t know what to do because she was very afraid
                       of the dark

Resolution             Finally she plucked up all her courage and headed out to the
                       clearing where she thought her father had been that day. After two
                       long hours searching, she finally found him. His foot had been
                       trapped under a log and he couldn’t lift if himself. Jane helped her
                       father to free himself and they went home happily.

Coda                   Jane was very glad she had not been too frightened to go in search
(optional stage        of her father.
which evaluates

Some text types (e.g. narratives like the text above) are more fixed and predictable in
structure than others because of the relative lack of change in the purpose they were
created to achieve. However, for the most part text types are dynamic and change over
time as the purpose they were established to achieve change. Text types are also
intricately related to the culture in which they are created. This understanding of culture
relates not only ethnicity or country but also to particular groups people belong to (e.g.
secondary school students or religious groups).
Text Types and School Learning
In recent years a great deal of research in Australia has been carried out to investigate the
text types which students need for learning at all levels of education. Knowing the
structure and language features of such text types is very important because it enables
students to successfully achieve the outcomes of the school curriculum. The table bellows
how these text types can be related to some important outcomes across key learning

No.                Common Curriculum Outcome                              Text Type
 1.      Classify and describe phenomena                           Factual Description
                                                                   Information Report
 2.      Explain how or why things come/came about                 Explanation
         Explain impacts and consequences
 3.      Describe changes over time                                Factual Recount
         Retell events in the past
 4.      Evaluate, analyse and assess issues                       Discussion
         Argue a case                                              Exposition
 5.      Entertain through telling a story                         Narrative
                                                                   Literacy Recount

                                                               Literary Description
 6.    Summarise, analyse and respond to literary texts, Personal Response
       artworks or performances                                Review
       Devise or follow a set of instructions and record steps Procedure
       taken to achieve the great                              Procedural Recount

Important text types for learning are included in our syllabus/curriculum documents (See
Kurikulum 2004 and Standar Isi). These are often organized according to whether they
are literary or factual. Literary text types, such as narrative, literary recount and literary
description explore personal experience in order to evoke an emotional response.
However, others, like review and personal response interpret other texts or artworks.

Factual text types function to present information for purposes such as describing,
explaining, instructing and arguing. It is important to note that all text types, factual and
literary, represent the perspective of the producer of the text. This perspective often needs
to be questioned and challenged by listeners, readers and, when texts are multimodal, by
viewers too.

It is important to remember that different curriculum areas also require students to use
different text types. Why Volcanic Eruptions Occur is an example of such an explanation
which is a text type used to explain phenomena in areas such as Geography, Science and
Maths. Auntie Peg’s Holiday, is an example of a text type (review) which does play an
important role in these learning areas.
                                           Unit 3
                                PERSONAL RECOUNTS
Personal Recounts are a text type that we use to retell events in which we were directly
involved. For instance, if we tell a friend about a sporting event or a school trip we
participated in, that would be a personal recount text. We are telling what happened and
how we reacted to what happened. Personal Recounts are very common in conversations,
letters, email, and school compositions. In Personal Recounts, we tell what happened
during events in which we were directly involved.
A. Read through the text quickly to answer these questions.
       o What is the purpose of the text?

  o Which part of the text gives you the background information needed to
     understand the text? What do you call this part of the recount text?
  o Does the text tell you what happened in time order?
  o What does the final paragraph tell you about?
                                  A Trip to the Eden Project
                Last Friday, our class traveled in the school bus to visit the Eden
……...……      Project in Cornwall. It was a long ride to get there so we had to be at
          school an hour early, at eight o’clock. We brought our breakfast to eat on
                                           the bus.
             When we arrived at the Eden Project, we could tell it was a big
……...……      attraction by the size of the car parks, which were carefully laid out
             and named after fruits – we were in Plum Car Park. As we walked
             down, we could see the Eden Project buildings – two enormous plastic
             domes, built in a dip in the ground;
             Mrs. Jeffries told us they were called ‘biomes’ and the dip used to be a
……...……      claypit, where men had dug out the clay to use for making pots. We
             spent our morning going round the biomes, looking at the plants. One
             is kept very warm inside and filled with tropical plants like rubber
             trees, bamboo, spices, coconuts and pineapples. There are also
             displays of buildings and gardens from tropical countries. The other
             biome is not so warm and among the plants there are oranges, lemons,
             grapes and olives.
            We had our lunch in the exhibition centre, where we watched a video
……...……     about ‘The making of Eden’. The Eden Project was built to show how
             men and plants depend upon each other and it cost millions of pounds
             to build. Next we had a talk about the plants. A lady explained how
             you get cocoa beans and cocoa milk from a pod and use them to make
             We were allowed to look in the shop and spend two pounds. I bought
……...……     some stickers and a postcard of a man building the biomes. Finally, it

                    was time for the long ride home. We were back by half past three, just
                    in time for the bell.
B. Write in the blank provided what paragraph it is each of these contents of the
   ……………… lunch and the afternoon’s events (including information on the
                      purpose of the Eden Project).

   ……………… arrival at the Eden Project and first impressions.

   ……………… the tour of Biomes (including information on the building of the
                      Eden Project).

   ……………...           the detail of who (our class), what (trip to Eden Project), when (last
                      Friday, setting off early), and where (in Cornwall).

   ……………… the end of the trip, return journey and arrival home.
C. Language Features
   1. The text above is mostly written in the past tense because the trip was a specific
       event, which only happened once. However, the third paragraph, describing the
       project, is mainly in the present tense. Why is it so?
   2. Underline all the participants in the text. Are they specific or generic?
   3. Does the writer assume a high level of background knowledge on behalf of the
       reader? What makes you think so?
   4. The exact timings for the beginning and end of the excursion help establish that
       time is an important element in this chronological account. Why do they help us
       follow the story easier?
   5. Which of these are the common forms of personal recount text?
          letter                                              magazine article
          autobiography                             write-up of a trip or activity
          diary or journal                          account of science experiment
          newspaper report                          biography

   non-fiction book
   obituary

                                            Unit 4
                               INFORMATION REPORTS
Information Reports are a text type we use when we want to offer factual information
about science reports about a class of plants, animals or objects and reference articles in
encyclopedias or on the Internet often use this text type. In other words, Information
Reports are factual text which describes the way things are, with reference to a whole
range of phenomena, natural, cultural and social in our environment.
A. Which of these are the common forms of report text?
       Information leaflet                   Magazine article
       School project file                   Non-fiction book (e.g. geography)
       Tourist guide book                    Letter
       Encyclopedia entry                    Letter to the editor
B. Read this text paying attention at how the text is staged. Write the name of each
    of the stages
Text Structure

……...…….....        Butterflies belong to the order of insects known as Lepidoptera. This
                    means they have scaly bodies and wings, and a feeding tube on the
                    front of the head, called a proboscis, coiled up when not in use. Their
                    wings may be large, brightly coloured and patterned. Butterflies are
                    found in most parts of the world and different species are adapted to
                    the environments in which they live.

……...…….....        Like all insects, the butterfly’s body is divided into three parts: head,
                    thorax and abdomen. On the head are a pair of antennae, used for
                    smelling, fore and hind – grow from the thorax. The wings are made of
                    a very thin membrane, stretched over a framework of ‘veins’, in the

                same way as the skin of an umbrella is stretched over the frame. Tiny
                overlapping scales on the membrane give the wings their pattern and

……...…….....    Male butterflies tend to be more brightly coloured than the females but
                the females are larger. They also hove bigger wings, enabling them to
                fly even when they are carrying a heavy burden of eggs. A female
                butterfly may lay up to 3,000 eggs, always choosing the appropriate
                plant for the caterpillars to feed on. However, usually only one or two
                eggs out of a hundred hatch out and may others die as they grow
                through the stages of larva (caterpillar) and chrysalis (pupa) to become
                an imago (adult butterfly).

……...…….....    The imago usually has al lifespan of only a few weeks. It feeds on
                nectar from flowers or other sweet food, such as over-ripe fruit, which
                it sucks up through the proboscis. This food provides energy to fl and
                reproduce, but most butterflies do not need any body-building foods to
                see them through their short lives. In fact, a few species have
                mouthparts that do not open so they cannot feed.

  D. Discuss whether these statements are true (T) or false (F) about Information
     Report texts.
        1. The difference between report and recount is that report text is usually
        2. Learning to organize report text involves learning to categorize
        3. The first paragraph of the text is introductory information about what is to
            be described: who, what, when, where (overall classification).
        4. Information Reports are written in the present tense (except historical
        5. The writing often involves the use of technical words and phrases.

           6. Third-person writing is used.
           7. The nouns/noun groups and pronouns are usually general/generic (not
              referring to particular people or things).
           8. The text is organized chronologically.

                                          Unit 5
Explanations are a text type we use when we want to tell how something works or why
something works as it does. It is more about processes than things. In the school
curriculum, explanations are often found in Science and Social Studies.
A. To get familiar with a genre of a text, it is good to have these questions in mind
   when we read it.
       1. What do you think we might use this sort of a text in our society?
       2. Look at the beginning of the text. What do you think the writer is doing here?
           What does the beginning of this text tell the reader?
       3. Is it the same as the beginning of a Report?
                                 Why do people die if they stop breathing?

……...…….....      In order to stay alive, human beings need a constant supply of oxygen
                  (a gas found in the air) to all parts of the body. They also need to rid
                  their bodies of a waste gas called carbon dioxide, which would
                  otherwise poison them.

……...…….....      These two gases are carried round the body in the blood. Veins carry
.                 blood to the heart and arteries carry blood away from the heart. Both
                  veins and arteries divide into millions of tiny capillary blood vessels.
                  Gases can move between the blood in the capillaries and the tiny cells
                  which make up the human body.

……...…….....      When a human being breathes in, the air goes down into the lungs,
                  which are like two spongy bags filled with millions of air sacs.

                   Oxygen from the air passes through the sacs into the capillary blood
                   vessels. The blood then carries the oxygen through a vein to the heart.

……...…….....       The heart pumps this oxygen-carrying blood around the whole body
                   through arteries which divide into capillaries to reach the body cells.
                   Oxygen passes from the blood to the cells, and carbon dioxide (the
                   waste gas) passes from the cells into the blood. Veins take this waste-
                   carrying blood back to the heart, which pumps it back to the lungs.
                   There the carbon dioxide passes into the air sacs.

……...…….....       When the human being breathes out, the carbon dioxide is pushed back
.                  out into the air. Breathing in and out is therefore essential because it
                   ensures that life-giving oxygen is constantly replaced and poisonous
                   carbon dioxide expelled.
                                                                              (Sue Palmer, 2001)
B. Some Points for Discussion
Generic (schematic) structure of Explanation genre generally consists of
    a general statement to position the reader
    then sequenced explanation of why/how something occurs (usually a series of
      logical steps in the process.

The organizational structure of the text can be more easily understood from this diagram.

     This thing                           This thing                                This thing
                      Goes through                          Goes through
     or state of                          or state of                               or state of
                      this process to                       this process to
       being          become                being                                     being

This sequence continues till final stage of being or thing is produced.
C. Questions:
   1. Identify which part of the text which gives general statement to position the

   2. Which parts of the text tell sequenced explanation of why/how something occurs?
   3. Explanations focus on generic, non-human participants. Circle all the generic
       participants in the text.
   4. One of the language features of Explanation texts is material (action) processes/
       verbs. Underline all these verbs.
   5. Some passives are used in the Explanation text to get Theme right. What does this
   6. As the text explains how or why things as they are, the language used shall reflect
       this, such as the use of temporal and causal conjunctive relations. List all these
   7. Which of these titles suggest that the texts are Explanations?
           a. How Does a Car Engine Work?             d. Volcanoes
           b. How to Make a Kite                      e. Earthquakes
           c. Volcanic Eruptions                      f. How a Jellyfish Stings
   8. When you explain something, does it necessarily produce an Explanation
       text type?
                                       Unit 6
Expositions are a text type we use when we want to offer opinions, give
suggestions and convince people to take particular actions. For instance, maybe
our friends want to play badminton, but we want to go swimming. When we try to
persuade each other, we are using Expositions. In the Expositions the emphasis is
on persuading someone to your point of view. We might be arguing simply to
justify a position/interpretation (“persuading that”), or we might be arguing that
some sort of action be taken (“persuading to”).
Let’s have a look at the characteristics of Expositions.
A. Fill up the blanks with an appropriate name for each of the paragraphs.

   Text                                                                           Language
Organisation                                                                      Features

                Persuading to …
                (Hortatory Exposition)

                Dear Sir

……...…….....    On behalf of the residents of …, I would like to express our           words
.               concern at the unreasonable amount of pollution created
                by the steel works in our area.

……...…….....    The pollution is increasing and causing many problems for
                the neighbourhood.
                   The sulphur fumes cause breathing difficulties
                    when a north-easterly blows.                             usually “timeless”
                   The ash from the stack makes the washing dirty.            present tense

                   The coal tracks are ruining the roads and
                    making sleep impossible for shift-workers.

……...…….....    We would like to suggest that an enquiry be held into          some passives
                the running of the steel mills and the impact of the local        variety of
                community.                                                     verbs/processes

                We hope that you will give this matter serious
                consideration at our next meeting.

                Yours sincerely,
                Bruno Ballo

                Persuading that …
                (Analytical Exposition)

 Statement of                                                         connectives
   position                                                           structuring
                                                                     the argument
                   I think it’s good to be bald.

                   Firstly you don’t have to wash your hair.
                   Secondly you don’t have to comb your hair.
                   And thirdly you don’t have to go to the barber.       connective
Summing up/
Reinforcement      So you’re lucky if you’re bald
 of position

                                                                 (Derewianka, 2001)
B. Which of these are the linguistic features of expositions?
       1. possibility of technical terms related to the issue.
       2. variety of verb (process) types – action (material), linking (relational),
          saying (verbal) and mental
       3. mainly timeless present tense when presenting position and pints in the
       4. frequent use of passives to help structure the text
       5. actions are often changed into “things” (nominalised) to make the
          argument sound more objective
       6. connectives associated with reasoning (therefore, so, because of, the
          first reason, etc.)
       7. use of emotive words (concern, unreasonable amount, I strongly
          believe, etc.)
       8. use of verbs such as should

C. Points for Discussion.
   1. Because we use Expositions to express our opinions, we use verbs of
       belief, such as think, believe and feel, and phrases such as I am convinced
       that …, in our opinion and from my point of view. What are the words/
       phrases in the text above used to express opinions or beliefs?
   2. What is the difference between the two texts above in terms of their social

   3. Which of the following are some common forms of expositions?
                  Convincing a friend to lend                 Sermons
                   you the car                       Certain essays
                  Newspaper editorials              Letter to the editor
                  Political speeches                debates
                  Telling how things happen
Study these texts to answer these questions.
   1) Identify the social purpose and the text type of each of the texts below?
   2) Identify the generic text structure and then try to label the stages of each
       text according to how they function to achieve the text’s purpose?
   3) Identify the significant language features of each of the texts. These
       questions may guide us:
                   What participants are in the text – specific/individualized or
                   What are the grammatical features dominant or significant in
                    each of the texts? (verbs/adverbials/tenses/connectors/ conjunct-
                   What are the significant lexical features in each of the texts?
                    (emotive words/modals/etc.)
Text 1
                             Why Hats Should be Worn in the Play Ground
                      Students should always wear hats in the school
                      playground to protect their skin and eyes.

                      Firstly, hats protect the skin from sunburn. As we
                      know, lunch and recess are during the sunniest part of
                      the day. Without hats, students’ skin would get very
                      burnt and that could cause skin cancer.

         Secondly, hats can help prevent eye damage from the
         sun. Even on cloudy days there can be a lot of glare
         from the sun. Hats help to prevent some of the glare so
         that we don’t have to squint and hurt our eyes.

         In conclusion, hats should be worn in the play ground at
         all times.
Text 2
                        Time to Give Mary the Chop
         Last week it was proved beyond any shadow of doubt
         that Mary Stuart, the former Queen of Scots, has been
         plotting yet again against the life of our dear queen,
         Elizabeth. It is clearly difficult for our beloved monarch
         to consent to her on cousin’s death, but after nineteen
         years of threat and betrayal, surely the time has come
         to sign Mary’s death warrant?

         The foolish Queen of Scots was long ago rejected b her
         own countrymen. During her brief but turbulent reign,
         Scotland suffered religious unrest, lack of leadership
         and eventually a bloody civil war. As a result, the
         Scottish people took away her crown and threw her into
         prison. When she escaped and fled to England, all
         Scotland sighed with relief to be rid of her!

         Since then Mary has lived under Queen Elizabeth’s
         generous protection and at the expense of English
         taxpayers – in comfortable English county ever possible
         opportunity to plot against Elizabeth’s life! Surely such
         betrayal cannot be tolerated any longer?

         Moreover, as long as Mary lives, there will be plots. This
         woman has always claimed to be the rightful Queen of
         England, and she always had the support of the King of
         Spin, who knows he can make her his puppet. Could any
         true Englishman want to exchange our wise, generous
         Elizabeth for this vain, selfish woman? Could anyone
         want our free, prosperous county to fall under the
         control of the power-crazed King of Spain?

         It is hard for Elizabeth to sing the document that sends
         her own flesh and blood to the block. Yet sign it she
         must – for herself, for justice, and for the future of

Text 3
                       Why Volcanic Eruptions Occur
         Volcanic eruptions often occur at the boundaries of two
         colliding of plates. These plate boundaries are called
         subduction zones.
         When the two plates collide, one plate is forced
         underneath the other. Because the plate moves
         downwards, it heats up. This heating creates magma. As
         the heat and pressure continue to build up, the magma
         bursts through the crust. This results in hot lava and
         gases being released into the atmosphere along with
         rocks and smoke.

                                      (Grammar and Meaning, p. 7)
Text 4
                             Auntie Peg’s Holiday

         Auntie Peg’s Holliday was written by Robert Coleby and
         illustrated by Sarah Wilkins. The book is about Auntie
         Peg needing a holiday. She’d never had one before
         cause farms and holidays don’t go together. So, since
         she couldn’t go to Fiji, Fiji would have come to her.
         The book was funny because Auntie Peg always did
         things the hard way. Even though farms and holidays
         don’t go, Auntie Peg was able to make her own holiday.
         I liked the way the illustrations were done because they
         put a lot of detail. For example, when Auntie Peg was
         doing her ironing ‘the hard way’ and the writing said
         ‘leaves and bits of earth were in the clothes,’ Sarah
         Wilkins actually put them there.
         I’d recommend this book to all the family, especially
         farm families who need a holiday.
                                     (Grammar and Meaning, p. 7)
Text 5
         A telephone is a device that transforms voices into
         electrical signals so that people can communicate over
         long distances.
         Telephones have a number of parts. On the outside of
         the handset there is a mouthpiece, an earpiece and a
         keypad. Inside the mouthpiece is a microphone which
         contains a plastic disk called diaphragm. The earpiece
         contains a loudspeaker.
         People talk to each other on the telephone through the
         microphones in the handset. The sound of the caller’s
         voice causes the diaphragm to vibrate. As it vibrates, it
         generates an electric signal that passes down the
         telephone line to the receiving telephone. When the

         receiving telephone gets the signals, the diaphragm in
         the earpiece loudspeaker also vibrates and recreates
         the sound of the person’s voice at the other end.
         There are many different kinds of phones. Most home
         and office phones have keypads and many are now
         portable. Mobile phones are not physically connected to
         a network and can be used from almost anywhere.
         Videophones, which contain a small TV camera, give
         users a chance to see each other.
Text 6
         Dear Mum and Dad,
         We arrived in Cairns on Sunday and are staying in a
         small hotel next to the marina. It has a great pool and
         lovely tropical gardens. Yesterday, we snorkeled near
         the outer reef. Bob took some photos of the fish with
         his underwater camera. Tropical fish are amazing.
         Some are rainbow coloured and others have fluorescent
         stripes. Then bob noticed two reef sharks near the
         pontoon and called the instructor. She said that they
         were harmless, but I still felt scared. I loathe sharks!

         Love Emily

Text 7
         Place eggs, sugar and butter in a bowl and beat well.
         Add the flour and continue beating until ingredients are
         well combined. Carefully stirred the chopped fruit and
         toasted almonds. Place spoonfuls of the mixture onto a
         greased baking tray and heat in a hot oven for 15
         minutes. When they are cool, sprinkle generously with
         sifted icing sugar.

Text 8
         Trail bikes in National Parks have become a huge
         problem for park rangers and there are many reasons
         why they should be totally banned.
         The first reason is that trail bikers cause a lot of
         damage to the native plants in the area. Riders make
         tracks through the bush and destroy many of the plants
         and trees. The tracks are used again and again which
         makes it hard for the plants to grow back. This also
         causes severe soil erosion.
         The second reason is the noise from the trail bikes. This
         noise is very annoying and spoils the peace and the
         quiet of the park for visitors. It also scares many of the
         native animals away from their natural environment.
         Another reason is the danger of riding in National Parks.
         Many riders go to isolated and rugged parts of the parks.
         This increases the risk of injury and means that riders
         are a long way from help if they have an accident.

         All visitors to National Park should do their best to
         protect the natural environment for everyone to enjoy.
         Therefore trail bikes should be totally banned and there
         should be severe fines for anyone who is caught.
Text 9
                           Do We Still Need Zoos?
         Zoos were originally set up so that people could see and
         learn about wild animals from distant lands. As more
         people become city-dwellers, never seeing animals in
         the wild, zoos began to house local creatures too.
         However, in today’s world, are zoos really necessary?

Since people can now see any sort of wild animal in its
natural habitat, simply by tuning in to a TV programme
or buying a video, some animal rights activists claim the
zoos are out of date. They argued that it is cruel to
capture animals, transport them long distances, and
then keep them caged up, simply for the entertainment
of the human beings. Captive animals often develop
‘zoochosis’- abnormal behaviour like rocking or swaying
– which indicates that they are bored and unhappy in
their prison-like conditions.

On the other hand, there is a huge difference between
watching an animal on screen and seeing it in a real
life. It could be argued that visiting zoo is educational,
often increasing people’s concern for wildlife and
conservation, which is of great importance in today’s
developing – and overdeveloped – world. Indeed,
sometimes the only way to save an endangered species
may be to arrange for it to breed in captivity. Behind
the scenes, zoos also provide scientists with
opportunities to research into animal behaviour:
modern zoos can also be better planned than old-
fashioned ones, providing animals with carefully
designed enclosures appropriate to their needs.

It seems, then, that there are still arguments for
retaining zoos. These should, however, be carefully
planned with the animals’ welfare in mind: in the
modern worlds, there is no excuse for keeping the
animals in cramped or cruel conditions.

Text 10
          Dear Grandpa and Grandma,
             Yesterday at my school we had International Day.
          We had performances, food stalls, displays, raffle
          ticket draw and some of us were dressed in costumes.
          We started our day off with performances but the one I
          liked best was one from fourth grade. It was about
          games. The performance I was in was called Labamba.

          Straight after our performances we had our lunch.
          There were food stalls. They come from Australia,
          Arabic and Greece.

          Everyone had a job. These people were from sixth
          grade. I did my job after I had a lunch. My job was to
          sell International Day books.

          We had displays in the hall. These displays were good
          but I didn’t get to see them. The displays came from a
          lot of countries.

          There was also a Trash & Treasure stall where they sell
          toys. The school got these things by asking the children
          to bring them in.

          After lunch we had a raffle ticket draw. I didn’t win
          but a lot of people did.

          Although I didn’t win anything, International Day was
          still fun.
          Love from Huy

Board of Studies NSW (1998) English K-6 Syllabus, Sydney: New South Wales
   Department of Education and Training, <>
Derewianka, B. (1991) Exploring How Texts Work, Sydney: Primary English
   Teaching Association.
Droga, L. and Humphrey, S. (2003) Grammar and Meaning: An Introduction for
   Primary Teachers, Berry NSW: Target Texts
Hayland, K. (2004) Genre and Second Language Writing, Michigan: The
   University of Michigan Press
Palmer, S. (2001) How to Teach Writing Across the Curriculum at Key Stage 2,
   London: David Fulton Publishers.


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