Presentation Details

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Eleventh International Literacy and Education Research Network Conference on Learning

Text, Language and Academic Development in a Foundation Year Course for South African Law Students

Dr Roger Field.

1. Course aim
2. Student language competence
3. Information on texts and videos used.
4. Reflections on their use for language- and academic-development
4.1 Use La Guma and Kafka to explore legal institutions, the individual, linguistic register, logic
4.2 Use TRC-related texts to raise questions about TRC, justice, retribution, reconciliation and identity in ‘old’ and ‘new’ SA. These include: The Guguletu Seven pt 2, From Joyce to Remembrance, Death and the Maiden, The Oresteia, Bitter Fruit
4.3 Focus on laws that herald, define and consolidate the TRC process to examine conditionals, modals and nominalisations
4.4 Use The Oresteia to ask if SA’s journey to ‘brave new world’ costs more for some than for others; structure of Greek tragedy; realpolitik and ‘historical compromise’; larger compromise between those who could no longer rule and those who could not yet govern
4.5 Texts as ‘ideational metaphors’ that help us move from ‘reality as process involving people and concrete things, to reality as relations between abstract things’ (Martin 94)
4.6 Fictional texts used inhabit a world of polarities and modalities; they ‘take these voices on and deny them’ and they acknowledge ‘alternative voices around a suggestion or claim’ (Martin 44).
4.7 We want students to be familiar with various discourses and genres that they can identify and move between, because they will never inhabit a world that only consists of legal texts.


Dr Roger Field  (South Africa)
Lecturer, Co-ordinator EED Law
English Dept, Arts Faculty
University of the Western Cape

49 years; born in SA; left because refused draft into SA army; returned to SA in 1991 after 11 year exile; teaching at UWC since 1992; interests: cooking, gardening, walking on the mountains; married to Moira Levy ; two daughters Gemma and Sophie;

  • Language
  • Academic development
  • Texts
  • Videos
  • Linguistic register and logic
  • Truth and Reconciliation Commission
  • Grammatical forms
  • Historical compromise
  • Ideational metaphors
  • Polarities and modalities

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)