Halliday's functions of children's written language

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1. Instrumental Stage

  • first words are concrete nouns
  • child uses language to express needs

E.g. Christmas present list

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2. Regulatory Stage

  • language used to tell others what to do
  • child realises language is a useful tool and by using language they can get what they want

E.g. 'Amy's Room Keep Out'

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3. Interactional Stage

  • language used to communicate with other people and form relationships
  • realises language goes beyond what you need

E.g. Birthday card

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4. Personal Stage

  • uses language to express feelings and opinions
  • realises language is more demanding and get praised for using language

E.g. Poems

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5. Heuristic Stage

  • language used to gain info about the world
  • child questions everything and always seeking an answer
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6. Imaginative Stage

  • language used to tell stories and create an imaginary situation
  • child recognises an object can be called many things

E.g. Writing stories

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7.Representational Stage

  • child uses language to convert facts and information
  • begins to talk about brand new things
  • learn to represent themselves using language

E.g. Writing a story about what happened to them, writing a shopping list

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