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The release of The Australian Curriculum: English (ACARA, 2012) has revived debates about the role of grammar as English content knowledge. We consider some of the discussion circulating in the mainstream media vis-à-vis the intent of the national English Curriculum. We demonstrate how the Curriculum draws upon the complementary tenets of traditional Latin-based grammar and systemic functional linguistics across the three Strands of Language, Literature and Literacy, creating scope for teachers to develop students’ knowledge about language in innovative ways. We argue that such an approach is necessary for working with contemporary multimodal and cross-cultural texts. To demonstrate the utility of this new approach, we draw out a set of learning outcomes from Year 6 and then map out a framework for relating the outcomes to the form and function of multimodal language. As a case in point, our analysis is of two Coca-Cola web advertisements, one each from South Korea and Australia.

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Journal Article

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