July 2016 - Volume 10 Number 3 - Pages 1-114
Systemic Functional Linguistics and Education
Guest Editors: Nick Moore & Grisel Salmaso
This special issue of the International Journal of Language Studies comprises a selection of papers presented during the 41st International Systemic Functional Congress and X Latin-American Systemic Functional Congress, held in Facultad de Filosofia y Letras, Universidad Nacional de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina, in April 2014. The theme of the conference was "Systemic Functional Linguistics and Language Education: Novel applications of well-established and evolving lines of enquiry to language education theory and practice". Some of the main fields of the congress were language education and language in education, child language development, language typology, register and genre theory, appraisal theory, discourse analysis, multimodality and multimodal literacy, language and knowledge, and SFL and other language theories. The papers presented in this special issue reveal some of the many relationships between Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL) and Education.
Keywords: Discourse Analysis; Education; SFL; Systemic Functional Linguistics; Editorial
Citation: Moore, N., & Salmaso, G. (2016). Editorial. International Journal of Language Studies, 10(3), 1-4.
The construction of the role of the teachers in academic articles on ICT and education
The academic literature in the field of ICT in educational contexts is partly responsible for construing the role of teachers in new educational scenarios. This study explored a corpus of the Introduction and Discussion/Conclusion sections of ten academic articles discussing ICT in classrooms. An analysis of material clauses showed that "teachers" tend to be construed: as beneficiary or goal; in the passive voice; by modal meanings of need and obligation; or by negative polarity. The same corpus was further explored using tools of Appraisal analysis which revealed that ICT is appraised positively and construed as desirable and necessary for teachers. Conversely, positive attitude markers are associated with teachers typically to indicate qualities that teachers lack. The following realizations of graduation were frequently used to flag attitudinal meanings: (a) intensified proposals by means of modals or metaphorical realizations of modulation; (b) quantification of the entity teachers; (c) indication of low degrees of fulfilment; and (d) strengthening of propositions by means of high certainty modal meanings. These results expand our previous observations that teachers are represented as lacking the skills, competences or attitudes to use technology, which is in turn construed as offering undisputable benefits in education.
Keywords: ICT; Teachers' Role; Transitivity; Appraisal; SFL
Citation: Zuppa, L., & Rezzano, S. (2016). The construction of the role of the teachers in academic articles on ICT and education. International Journal of Language Studies, 10(3), 5-22.
Technologies, modes and pedagogic potential in live versus online lectures
Institutions of higher education worldwide are increasingly making recorded lectures available online to all students. Rationales given for introducing these pedagogic modes includes claims of student demand, economic necessity, and pedagogic advantage. The research base in relation to the latter is especially thin, and the substitution of attendance in person with recorded lectures raises important issues regarding teaching effectiveness and learner experience. In this study we compare segments of pre-recorded voiced PowerPoints with video-recorded live lectures featuring the same lecturer, content and PowerPoint slides. The spoken texts for both versions were transcribed and analyzed and the body language of the lecturer was also tracked in the live lecture. Systemic Functional Linguistic tools are used to analyze how differences in the technologies and modes of communication impact on the construal of interpersonal, ideational and textual meanings. We approach the question from the perspective of context dependency--the potential for lecturer and students to connect in a you-and-me, here-and-now sense--and specifically to the construct of 'presence' (Martin & Matruglio, 2014). Analyses reveal considerable differences between the two lecture types and we propose important implications for the choice and design of pedagogic modes, particularly those of pre-recorded or live lectures.
Keywords: Lectures; Modes; Higher Education; Systemic Functional Linguistics; Context Dependency
Citation: Hood, S., & Lander, J. (2016). Technologies, modes and pedagogic potential in live versus online lectures. International Journal of Language Studies, 10(3), 23-42.
The effectiveness of using 'reading to learn, learning to write' pedagogy in teaching Chinese to non-Chinese speaking students in Hong Kong
This paper examines the effectiveness of 'Reading to Learn' (R2L) pedagogy (Rose & Martin, 2012) in teaching Chinese to non-Chinese speaking students in Hong Kong. Junior secondary students were taught to read and write texts of different genres in Chinese in an after-hour class for a year using the R2L pedagogy. Students were asked to write a composition before and after each genre teaching cycle. During the teaching cycle, teachers scaffolded students' writing through preparing for reading, detailed reading, joint re-writing, sentence-making, and joint construction. This paper selects writings from students representing the low, medium and high achievers. Their pre- and post-teaching scripts are analyzed for aspects of transitivity, modality, and cohesion using a Systemic Functional Linguistic (Halliday & Matthiessen, 2004) framework. Semi-structured interviews were conducted to reveal students' perceptions and teachers' reflections on R2L pedagogy. Text analysis of the pre- and post-teaching writing suggests that students with different learning abilities are capable of composing much longer and better organized texts with genre-based schematic structure and diversified lexicogrammatical resources after experiencing R2L pedagogy. It is hoped that the findings can provide information to improve the teaching of Chinese as a second language for non-Chinese speaking students in Hong Kong.
Keywords: R2L Pedagogy; Chinese Language Education; Functional Grammar
Citation: Shum, M. S.-K., Shi, D., & Tai, C.-P. (2016). The effectiveness of using 'reading to learn, learning to write' pedagogy in teaching Chinese to non-Chinese speaking students in Hong Kong. International Journal of Language Studies, 10(3), 43-60.
Diagnosing development: A grammatics for tracking student progress in narrative composition
Teachers commonly assess students' written narratives, but how do teachers recognize and evaluate different aspects of student achievement? For example, how do they tackle the incomplete narrative that includes a creative foray? This paper presents a multifaceted framework for diagnosing and tracking primary and secondary student progress in narrative composition drawing on data from classrooms where teachers were implementing tools from systemic functional grammatics (Macken-Horarik, Love & Unsworth, 2011)--a way of thinking about language with 'grammar in mind' (Halliday, 2002). In systemic functional grammatics the study of wordings is situated within a larger account of language that is contextual, multilevel and multidimensional. The framework presented in this paper offers a means to analyse students' written narratives at different levels of organization (genre, phase and sentence) and different degrees of accomplishment. We show how the framework can be used to take account of strengths and weaknesses in students' crafting of narratives, deployment of interpersonal meanings and control and development of sentence messages. We propose that if a grammatics is to serve assessment practices in English, it should provide grammatically informed ways of diagnosing strengths and weaknesses, illuminate teachers' intuitions about students' achievements and difficulties, and enable them to lead development in writing more effectively.
Keywords: Writing Assessment; Systemic Functional Grammar; Narrative Grammatics
Citation: Macken-Horarik, M., & Sandiford, C. (2016). Diagnosing development: A grammatics for tracking student progress in narrative composition. International Journal of Language Studies, 10(3), 61-94.
Discussion and challenge: Linguistic resources
Undergraduate students in the School of Philosophy and Letters of the Universidad de Buenos Aires attend a reading comprehension course in English divided in three levels. They read research articles in English and reformulate them in Spanish. In three semesters they have to become independent readers who may be able to read a complete research article written in English. To achieve this aim, they are trained in the use of reading strategies, text rhetorical organization and frequently-selected lexicogrammatical units. The goal of this work is to compare the lexicogrammatical units used by researchers in the abstracts and the introductory sections of two articles. One article belongs to the discussion type, whereas the other belongs to the challenge type. A qualitative and quantitative analysis of the corpus was used. The results indicated that the researcher who questions an established position selects units with a negative connotation more frequently. On the other hand, the researcher who dialogues with different positions uses modals or mood adjuncts indicating probability or inclination more frequently and the frequency of units with negative connotation decreases. Although the corpus is small, the results may be useful to improve the strategies of pedagogical intervention in reading comprehension lessons.
Keywords: Discussion; Challenge; Reading; Research Articles; English for Academic Purposes; SFL
Citation: Gonzalez, M. S. (2016). Discussion and challenge: Linguistic resources. International Journal of Language Studies, 10(3), 95-114.