Faculty of Arts

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2012 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
OfferedCaulfield First semester 2012 (Day)
Clayton First semester 2012 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Zhichang Xu


Previously coded EIL2110


This unit examines how form and function in English are seen as part of the interaction between the participants in a language situation, both in speech and writing. It is based on a functional approach to language study, especially on Halliday's concept of language as a social semiotic. This view of language is one that takes the broad, social context of the situation as an important influence on the system of choices made by the language user. Students are asked to consider the importance of social perspective of language through the concept of field, tenor and mode.


At the completion of this unit it is expected that students, as multilingual speakers, will be able to:

  1. Identify and manipulate the appropriate English form and structure in a variety of language functions.
  2. Recognize major contextual influences on language choice.
  3. Understand the differences in language features between written and spoken texts.
  4. Understand the importance of field, tenor and mode as a model of language use in a variety of contexts, especially those contexts that have a cultural significance for the multilingual speaker.
  5. Identify the influences that affect appropriate forms of language associated with different contexts.
  6. Select the appropriate forms of cohesion for a wide variety of texts in English.
  7. Construct spoken and written texts with appropriate responses in various authentic language situations; which is quite distinct from constructing a grammatically correct text.
  8. Identify the power structures that operate within a range of genres and registers.
  9. Identify the role culture plays in the structure of meaning within texts in English.
  10. Understand how culture positions the multilingual writer and speaker within the context of the language situation.
  11. Reflect on their own language practices in a variety of situations.
  12. Use their own language background as a resource within the multilingual situation.


Written work: 60%
Test: 20%
Oral presentation: 10%
Class participation: 10%

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Zhichang Xu

Contact hours

two hours/week

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study

English as an international language