There is a progression for Language and Text Features in all four strands. Language features include the way words work in sentences (for example, as verbs, nouns, adjectives, or adverbs), the forms of words (for example, past, present and future tense forms or singular and plural forms), the rules of grammar that govern how words are put together to form phrases, clauses and sentences, and the length and complexity of sentences. Features of texts (which vary depending on the form or type of text) include the different parts of a text and the cohesive devices, such as sequencing, that link the parts.
Every speaker and writer makes their own individual choices about the vocabulary that is appropriate to the situation and about the style or “voice” they want to use. They adapt their style according to how they want to be perceived by the audience and they choose an appropriate register. The term register may be used to mean the kind of language that is familiar and expected in a particular text type. For example, “The Board of Trustees wants to advise all parents and whānau that …” is in a very different register from “Hey Mere, did you know that …”. The term can also be used to describe the way in which a speaker or writer chooses vocabulary, grammar, features relating to the patterns of stress and intonation, or visual language features for a particular purpose and audience.
Listen with Understanding, Speak to Communicate: Language and Text Features progression
The listening strand describes an increasing ability to understand more complex vocabulary, grammar and types of oral discourse (which may include text types in oral form, such as recounts or information reports). It also describes an increasing ability to understand the vocabulary, grammar and other language features associated with less personal and familiar topics. It includes body language and prosodic features (see glossary). The speaking strand shares these focuses and also recognises that speakers need to develop a repertoire of oral language features and oral text forms so that they can tailor their speaking to match their audience, purpose and the situation.
Read with Understanding: Language and Text Features progression
The reading progression for Language and Text Features reflects the fact that a good knowledge of these features helps readers to read with understanding. (For example, readers who understand the features of instruction texts know to look for the words that indicate the order in which the steps should be done.) Written texts may also include visual language features such as headings, illustrations, diagrams or tables. The features of written texts vary depending on the form or type of text and include the length and layout of the text, the different parts of the text and the cohesive devices, such as the sequencing of paragraphs, that link the text.
Write to Communicate: Language and Text Features progression
As they gain experience and develop expertise with reading and writing, writers increase their choices of words, sentence structures, metaphors and other language features. They learn how these features can be manipulated to reflect their own voice and to create a particular effect. Written texts may also include visual language features such as headings, illustrations, diagrams or tables.
Developing expertise in using written text types
As they develop expertise in the writing process, writers develop knowledge of the generic (typical) patterns of various text types and they bring these patterns to mind as they write. Writers use their knowledge of generic patterning at three levels:
- to inform the overall structure of the text
- to help shape the ideas in the text
- to decide on the appropriate language items to use.