Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Visualisation - Thesis:Topic:Sentence::Conclusion:MainPoint:Point

In an attempt to show how students can short-cut their learning, by applying the same concept at different levels of language (just like tense and aspect, but that's another post), I tried to illustrate the relationship between a Thesis Statement, Topic Sentence and Theme and their relationship with the Point, a Main Point and a Conclusion (and the relationship between those items), as the general progression from what you are talking about to what you want to say. The diagram came out looking like like the one here.

The idea, from SFL, is that Macro-Themes (aka Thesis Statement in academic writing / composition) project to Hyper-Themes (or Topic Sentences) which project to Themes in clauses. Similarly, a Conclusion is a Macro-New, or the accumulation of Hyper-News (main points of the paragraphs) which are the accumulation of the New from each clause in a sentence. This is not a new idea, as it comes from Jim Martin's "English Text" (John Benjamins, 1992). I just thought I could re-visualise it and apply it directly to the pedagogic context.

And then I thought, would it be possible to develop this into an animation. I have not tried to use Flash animation for a very long time (a few years at least) so I thought I should try and revive my previous very low level of skills. This may have been a very misguided thought, but since Blogger refuses to upload the Flash movie you will just have to take my word for it!

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