Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 12. Number3   September 2021                                    Pp. 486-506

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Agency as Rhetorical Device in the Discourse of kids Animated Learning Videos on Covid-
19 Virus

Lina Laith Younus
Department of English Language
College of Education for Women, University of Baghdad
Iraq, Baghdad
Corresponing Author:  

Nahid Ra’aoof Kareem
Department of English Language
College of Education for Women, University of Baghdad
Iraq, Baghdad


Received: 6/21/2021               Accepted: 9/2/2021                 Published:  9/29/2021


At Covid-19 pandemic, people worldwide were attacked by a dangerous and widely spread virus known as Coronavirus. Kids are not matured enough to understand why they have to stay home and follow health instructions.  Animated learning videos are designed for kids for the purpose of making them aware of the virus. The objectives of the present study are: (1) Examining one of Burke’s pentad (1969) represented by ”agency,” in Covid-19 kids videos, (2) Investigating the rhetorical devices used in the selected data to inform, persuade and make kids aware of what is meant by covid-19, (3) Revealing the dominant rhetorical device. The main question that arises here is; “what are the rhetorical strategies used in the discourse of the learning videos on Covid-19”. The selected data is limited to the discourse of six kids’ videos dealing with covid-19 found on YouTube. The theories followed in the analysis are Tarigan’s theory (2013) and Burke’s pentad (1969). The results revealed that the discourse of each video reflects a dramatic situations, including the pentad items; act, scene, agent, agency, and purpose. It is also found that agency as a rhetorical device is highly used in the selected data and the most dominant device was personification. It is concluded that the use of the dramatic situations and rhetorical devices in such videos has a valuable role in making kids aware of what is meant by Covid-19 pandemic and persuaded why they have to follow the safety instructions, leaving schools and stay home.
Keywords: Agency, Burke’s pentad, Covid-19, figurative language, kids videos, Tarigan’s theory

Cite as: Younus, L. L. , & Kareem, N. R. (2021). Agency as Rhetorical Device in the Discourse of kids Animated Learning Videos on Covid-19 Virus.  Arab World English Journal, 12 (3) 486-506.


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Received: 6/21/2021
Accepted: 9/2/2021  
Published: 9/29/2021

Dr. Lina Laith Younus: A Ph.D. holder of English Language/Linguistics from University of Baghdad/ College of Arts. She is an Assistant Professor in linguistics/ English language at the University of Baghdad/ College of Education for Women/ department of English Language. A peer reviewer certified from Publon Academy. She is concerned with discourse analysis, critical discourse analysis and pragmatics.

Nahid Ra’aoof Kareem:  M.A. Candidate in Department of English Language, University of Baghdad, College of Education for Women. She has an interest in linguistics, pragmatics and discourse analysis. She is interested in kids’ literature, kids’ social, healthy, and educational problems and the means of protecting them from these problems.