Debra Myhill
Debra Myhill

Professor Debra Myhill is Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean at Graduate School of Education, University of Exeter, UK. Her interests are in the teaching and research of language and literacy.

Professor Myhill is the Director of the Centre for Research in Writing and her commitment is to the bringing together of teaching, teacher education and research so that children and young people's experience of learning to be literate enables them to be confident, articulate citizens of the future, able to use language and literature for personal fulfilment and economic well-being.

The presentation

The presentation offered a new and constructive way of thinking about grammar in the curriculum.

In contrast to traditional views of grammar as principally concerned with the structure of language, and with learning grammar rules to lead to accuracy in language use, we adopt a view of grammar as choice. This draws on a functional theorisation of language, informed by Hallidayan thinking about grammar as a resource for meaning-making. In this way, when we write we have access to a repertoire of language choices at multiple levels and these choices are central to the act of writing: grammar therefore is a tool for exploring this choice and authorial intention.

Drawing on a series of studies at the University of Exeter, the presentation argued that transforming how we think about grammar within the first language classroom can improve student attainment in writing.

► Professor Myhill höll även en workshop under sitt besök vid Stockholms universitet:
Workshop: Ways of Working with Grammar and Writing