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In this paper we report on one aspect of a whole school literacy research project, Embedding Literacies in the KLA’s (ELK), which has drawn on SFL theories of metafunction, rank and strata to develop a metalanguage for use by teachers, students and parents to discuss how texts work across the disciplines of secondary schooling. The starting point for this endeavour is the 3x3 framework, which was originally developed by academic literacy researchers (Humphrey, S. Martin, J., Dreyfus, S., and Mahboob, A., 2010) to organise the resources of academic discourse for tutor training purposes. We report specifically on how we have expanded this framework to build teacher understandings of the configurations of language of the high stakes persuasive genres required by the Australian national literacy test (NAPLAN). The resulting 4x4 framework raises the profile of logical meanings related to field and distinguishes more delicate units of meaning within the clause. By foregrounding how particular language resources relate systematically to meanings from each metafunction at various ranks, the 4x4 has not only provided a framework for teachers to interpret the criteria provided by NAPLAN but to map their own and their students’ development of language for learning systematically across the contexts of schooling.

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Open Access Conference Paper

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