Audience is the intended group of speakers, listeners or viewers that the writer, designer, filmmaker or speaker is addressing. Students need to make choices about what type of text is appropriate for their audience.
How can I engage my audience?
Teachers will need to provide exposure to a wide variety of texts in different modes as well as multimodal texts when teaching a particular topic and to guide students in creating their own texts using a form appropriate to the audience.
Each time students are accessing a new text they can be asked to identify the purpose and audience of the text and discuss how the writer or composer has made language choices in order to engage their audience. For example, if the purpose is to entertain, the type of text and the language choices will be different to a text which aims to provide information about a scientific topic. Writing for publication on a class blog will be different to writing an email to a friend. While planning for writing and composing students can identify their intended audience and explain to a partner or the class how they will plan to engage the audience.
Students can be asked to collect persuasive texts in the community for homework and identify the target audience. For example, utilities bills sometimes include brochures with paragraphs trying to convince customers to save water or energy or purchase a new product.
Activities to support the strategy
Identifying audience and purpose
While building the field about a topic students practice Identifying audience and purpose for a variety of texts. When it comes to composing their own texts this exposure will ensure they are aware of a variety of possible formats to use and an idea of what language and text features are available to them.
Students can be provided a list of URLs and hard copies of posters, brochures and so on.
|Text||Purpose||Audience||Language choices||Is the text effective? Why?|
|Take 3 poster||Persuade||People who visit the beach||
||Yes, the poster would encourage people to pick up their rubbish at the beach because the slogan is easy to remember|
|Recycle for Wildlife PDF||Inform||Children who want to attract birds to their backyard||
|Newspaper article||Inform||Adults or older children||(enter choices)||(enter response)|
Who will read or view my text?
Before beginning the process of creating a text ask students to consider in pairs who the audience will be (parents, the principal, other students) and what type of text would be appropriate.
Questions that could guide planning include:
- who is your audience?
- is there more than one audience? List them.
- what would your audience like to read or view? What do they care about?
- what kind of text would help your audience understand your argument?
- what could you add to make your text interesting and engaging?
The questions could be written up as an anchor chart to display in the classroom or added to a class blog.
ACELY1701: Texts in context: Identify and explain characteristic text structures and language features used in imaginative, informative and persuasive texts to meet the purpose of the text.
EN3-5B: Outcome 5: discusses how language is used to achieve a widening range of purposes for a widening range of audiences and contexts (EN3-5B) - Develop and apply contextual knowledge: identify and discuss how own texts have been structured to achieve their purpose and discuss ways of using conventions of language to shape readers' and viewers' understanding of texts
- The Readwritethink website provides lessons plans related to audience from the International Reading Association. The organisation also publishes a journal The Reading Teacher: A journal of research-based classroom practice which has many practical ideas for teachers.
- Ideas for using the web to write for different audiences: powerupwhatworks.org/technology/writing-web-blogs-and-wikis-support-literacy