Exploring how texts work

Beverly Derewianka

6 hours

Available all year

Online unmoderated course


This course, based on the best-selling Exploring how texts work, 2nd edition by Professor Beverly Derewianka, provides teachers with access to the power and practical language theory of Michael Halliday and others. It supports teachers to identify the kinds of texts and language features that students need to control in order to be successful learners in different curriculum areas. Critically, this course demonstrates how such knowledge can be transformed into lively, engaging classroom practice.

Types of texts explored in detail in this course are: Information reports, narratives, recounts, instructions, explanations and arguments.

Learning outcomes: 

  • Understand what we mean by a functional approach to language and how that applies to teaching in the primary classroom, in particular genre theory
  • Identify key language features in a range of genres
  • Plan for literacy teaching in the context of different subjects
  • Analyse the relationship between texts and their contexts
  • Develop a metalanguage for talking about texts and meanings with students

Who should participate?

  • Teachers F-6
  • Literacy Leaders
  • Curriculum and Instructional Leaders
  • Heads of Teaching and Learning

What else do I need to know?

 This is a perfect opportunity for colleagues to work together in a PL session, or independently as part of their professional development practice. This course is self-paced and unmoderated. All participants have access to materials for 365 days from the date they register. 

This course is designed as a companion professional development resource for the best seller PETAA text, Exploring how texts work. This text is required reading for this course.

How does it work?

  • Individuals: upon registration individuals will be sent a link to access the PL on our online learning platform.
  • Group Booking: Schools interested in making a group booking should email us the number of teachers they wish to enrol in order to receive a quote.


Cost of participation
Member $180


PL Subscription School Member
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 Completing this course comprises 6 hours (NSW - Elective PL) of online professional learning addressing standards 2.1.2 and 2.2.2 from the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers.

Course companion text:


PETAA Membership

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