What has so far been referred to as the range of ‘textual practices’ in which communities of language users normally engage subsumes the various ways in which language is used as a means, not only of communicating information but also of doing things with words, thus affecting, even changing, reality. This multifaceted activity includes:

• performing a variety of rhetorical acts through texts ; • upholding the norms and conventions which ensure that language is

used appropriately within the constraints of given communicative events or genres ;

• expressing values, attitudes and assumptions through discourse .