English Language Key Terms

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Mode: the medium of communication, for example, speech or writing

Oppositional View: a broad way of defining modes, which suggests that their qualities are strictly opposites, e.g. writing is formal, speech is informal.

Continuum: a way of representing differences by placing texts along a line showing degrees of various features.

Prototype: a 'best-fit' example of a particular category. For example, for many people, an apple is a prototypical fruit.

Sub-Mode: A sub-division of mode, such as poetry, drama and conversation.

Genre: The category or type of a text, such as a comedy, tradgedy or horror.

Type: A form of text such as a play, short story and recipe.

Multimodal Texts: texts that combine word, image and sound to produce meaning, for example a children's storybook that includes images to support the text.

Context: the temporal and spatial situations in which a text is produced or received, e.g. where the producer and/or receiver of the text is; what he or she is doing; who he or she is talking to; what has occured previously.

Context of reception: the situations in which a text is read and those factors that might influence a reader's interpretation.

Context of Production: The situation in which…


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