Audience is the intended group of readers, listeners or viewers that a text is addressing. Understanding the concept of audience is central to writing. Students in Stage 1 need to identify the audience and purpose of texts as they compose texts for a range of familiar and less familiar audiences.
Students in Stage 1 are learning to plan spoken and written communications to achieve a specific purpose and communicate with less familiar audiences. For example, students may create a video to explain the lifecycle of an echidna and present it at a school assembly or post it online.
Students need opportunities to explore how language use in texts differs according to the subject matter, purpose and audience.
In order to plan and compose texts that communicate effectively so that listeners, readers or viewers might follow the sequence of ideas, students need to be able to identify the audience and purpose for their texts. This will allow them to plan the type of text they need to compose with consideration of the following aspects:
- text structure
- language features
Activities to support the strategy
Activity 1: text comparison
This activity can be done in a whole class, small group or 1:1 context. It is designed to explicitly model a text comparison for audience and/or purpose, e.g. a picture book or imaginative text featuring penguins, an informative text about penguins suitable for primary students and an informative text about penguins suitable for adults/experts.
- Select the subject matter and variety of texts suitable to your students’ learning context.
- Present two or more texts on the same subject matter.
- Guide students in the text comparison using explicit questioning to do with:
- Vocabulary - Which text has vocabulary that would teach you more about penguins? Which text has vocabulary that is easiest for you to understand?
- Text structure - Which text is longer? Is there a contents page or index? How are images used in the texts?
- Language features - Is there imaginative language? Is there informative language? Is there persuasive language?
- Following this discussion, students draw conclusions about the audience and purpose for each text and justify their opinions.
Students work in ‘expert’ groups to answer the questions about one text and then come together to share and discuss (this would be appropriate as students become more familiar with the task demands).
Following this activity create a language features bank with the class for imaginative, informative and persuasive language. Identified language features can be recorded in the appropriate category. This can be added to over time and used for reference during text comparison and text composition.
Activity 2: ‘my audience’ mind map
This activity can be done as a pre-writing planning strategy in a guided whole-class setting (IWB or display board) or in small groups/independently by students using a blank page or the mind map template (PDF 40.76KB). Use student groupings that suit the learning area and your students’ learning context.
- record the subject matter, purpose and audience, for example, Penguins, Information, Kindergarten.
- begin the mind map with the word/s that describe their audience in the cloud, for example, Kindergarten.
- ask students to brainstorm everything they know about their audience.
- using three colours students discuss and review their brainstorm to highlight ideas that link to vocabulary, text structure and language features.
- turn the page over again to list their main planning ideas, for example, use simple vocabulary and explain 2 or 3 important words.
ACELY1671: Creating texts: Create short imaginative, informative and persuasive texts using growing knowledge of text structures and language features for familiar and some less familiar audiences, selecting print and multimodal elements appropriate to the audience and purpose.