This chapter reports on a research program that investigates language and text from a rhetorical point of view. By rhetorical, we mean an approach that features the relationship between the speaker and the audience or between the writer and the reader. Fundamental to a rhetorical approach to language is an interest in linguistic and textual agency, how speakers and writers manage to use language strategically to affect audiences; and how audiences and readers, agents in their own right, manage, or not, to pick up on, register, and respond to a speaker or writer’s bids. Historical and cultural factors play a central role in how speakers and writer settle into agent roles vis-à-vis listeners and readers. It is therefore no surprise that rhetorical approaches to language treat language, culture, and history as deeply permeable with one another. Rhetorical approaches to language have, since ancient Greece, been the dominant approach for educating language-users in the western educational curriculum .
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