Torsello, Carol Taylor
University of Trieste, Italy

Carol Taylor Torsello
Via Paolo Paruta 33
35126 Padova, ITALY

Strand: educational [assigned]

Title: From reading comprehension to systemic functional text analysis: a computer-assisted teaching unit

University students of English as a foreign language have the double objective of developing English language skills and learning about how language works. In a project carried out in three Italian Universities (Trieste, Pavia and Pisa), hypermedia materials aimed mainly at such students have been created using the authoring program "Hypercontext", which runs in Visual Works. The unit presented here is meant to develop reading comprehension skills while beginning to introduce undergraduates to systemic functional text analysis. It starts off as a simple reading comprehension unit based on a business letter (a circular letter to solicit renewal of the subscription to a journal), but the students are invited to follow paths toward linguistic explanations of words such as "text", "register" and "genre". Once they have been led to recognize textual signs of various aspects of the situation behind the text, they are introduced to the parameters field, tenor and mode and asked to relate the textual aspects observed to these parameters.