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In the driver’s seat – The nature of authority

Resource overview

Designed for students who are at the age where many of them are learning to drive, this resource covers driving safely, the nature of authority and how the actions we take shape our responses. For current statistical information visit the Centre for Road Safety website.

Related curriculum

This resource supports the Stage 6 Preliminary English (Standard, Advanced and ESL) syllabus.

Teacher and student resources

Activities encourage students to consider where authority lies and how it operates, and the powers of persuasion in different texts and media.

Section 1: Who is at the wheel? The nature of authority

Working in groups, students analyse the development of advertising campaigns and the differences between control and influence. They develop texts from the premise of authority and follow stages that include research, agency brief, and storyboard.

Additional information

By interpreting ideas through language, students develop creative concepts to target the behaviour of high-risk road user groups. They also assess their own work performance within their working group.

Section 2: What pedals are pushed? The power of the text

Students look at how targeted audiences can be persuaded to change their behaviour and how the nature of appeal can be directed to emotions, to reason or to one’s sense of humour and playfulness.

Additional information

Activities based on the powers of persuasion encourage students to take on a different role, play scenarios and respond to road safety advertisements, posters and brochures. Students compare their content and list similarities or differences in how they might change the behaviour of the audience.

Section 3: Who is in the back seat? The hidden persuaders

These activities allow students to better understand the purposes and techniques of advertising. They also consider how social and cultural contexts shape meaning.

Additional information

Students learn to identify and analyse how relationships of power are established and maintained between institutions and individuals and how they achieve necessary social goals.

Section 4: You steer: Controlling the text

Students articulate their responses to two advertisements, one they find effective and one that they feel does not work. They also take on the role of a person from an organisation or community group speaking at a forum.

Additional information

By refining their personal responses to texts, students develop an understanding of the intended messages and whether they thought they were successful or unconvincing. They also have the opportunity to change an advertisement by reworking its message. 

Last update: 5th February 2019