University of Tasmania

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The metaphors we teach by: A Cumulative and cohesive design for Bachelor of Education English education units

conference contribution
posted on 2023-05-24, 16:29 authored by Angela Thomas, Damon ThomasDamon Thomas, Vinh ToVinh To
At the University of Tasmania, the Australian Curriculum: English (2012) has been the impetus for a major restructure of our three Bachelor of Education (Primary and Early Childhood) units in English. Historically, the education faculty at the University of Tasmania has faced the challenges of a high turnover of staff, and an old Literacy curriculum which did not foreground SFL. Additionally the pervading metaphor of how to teach English was “a balanced literacy diet”. According to Lakoff and Johnson (2003), metaphors are ideological and structure both thinking and practice. The old metaphor of “a balanced literacy diet” resulted in “bite-sized chunks” of content divided up and taught in a piecemeal manner, starving the students of deep and interconnected understandings of the field. In our restructure we have reconceptualised the metaphor to become “a rich and integrated model of English teaching”, and we have designed the units to tell one cumulative and cohesive narrative about how to teach English. These reconceptualised units are anchored in the systemic model of language strata (Halliday & Matthiesson 2004; Martin & Rose, 2003), and in this presentation we will discuss the process and outcomes to date of the redesign.


Publication title

Program, Australian Systemic Functional Linguistics Association Conference




Faculty of Education

Event title

Australian Systemic Functional Linguistics Association (ASFLA) Conference 2016

Event Venue

Sydney, Australia

Date of Event (Start Date)


Date of Event (End Date)


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  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Assessment, development and evaluation of curriculum

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