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    • Join Date: Aug 2006
    • Posts: 22

    Systemic Functional Linguistics

    I am completing a M.Ed(TESOL) online and focussing on SFL. I teach English in Japan. Prior to starting this course I had a fair knowledge of English grammar but had not formally studied linguistics. I find this Hallidayan perspective of linguistics quite interesting and challenging and am using basic elements of it in my classes. However, as regards linguistics I still feel like a pygmy reaching for the shelf. I am quite isolated in my studies and is there anybody out there studying SFL with whom I can exchange ideas?
    John Curran

    • Join Date: Feb 2007
    • Posts: 52

    Re: Systemic Functional Linguistics

    Ahh, John! Just the man I'm looking for. I am a tutor with roots in traditional grammar making the jump to linguistics. I would be delighted to try to help you/us de-isolate ourselves!!

    • Join Date: Aug 2006
    • Posts: 22

    Re: Systemic Functional Linguistics

    Hi Mark,
    An Aussie! How delightful! My 2 grown-up children live in Adelaide. I am an Englishman and living a second life and career in Tokyo. Pity about the ashes last year!
    I have almost finished a M.Ed (TESOL) online with University of Tasmania. It should be completed this month. It has been a lonely two year slog with text books and occasional help on the internet. It has given me a good insight into the language but the practical implications for TEFL are questionable. I wonder why a TESOL course puts so much emphasis on linguistics! I had thought that a Masters might get me a part-time job at a local university and it still might but ageism is pretty rampant here (in some areas) and a greybeard might be kicked out the door.
    No worries though because I immensely enjoy my adult classes and my adoring women students. I do use some elements of SFL in a practical way - such as identifying different processes, thematic progression etc.
    Sorry to take such a long time to reply but have been busy - including two trips to Adelaide where the golf is good and inexpensive.
    Hope to hear from you.
    My email address is

    • Join Date: Aug 2006
    • Posts: 22

    Re: Systemic Functional Linguistics

    Hi Manx,
    Thank you for replying.
    How about some reply on this thread so we can continue the thread?
    Thanks John

    • Join Date: Aug 2006
    • Posts: 22

    Re: Systemic Functional Linguistics

    Hi Manxli,
    It is now a year and a half since I posted the first of this thread. Since then I finished the M.Ed(TESOL) and have been trying to introduce some elements of SFL to my adult classes. For the last 8 months I have been trying out elements of 'Reading to Learn' a program developed by Professor David Rose of Sydney University. This approach involves selecting texts that are interesting and a little above the level of the class so that they are challenging. This is presented ( as in the typical SFL mode) first as the whole text and then a couple of paragraphs are analysed carefully. There is too much to explain here but it is very successful. (It has worked very well at a much simpler level with young Aboriginal children in remote areas of Australia where English is not their spoken- at home- language).
    Over to you tell me something you are doing Manxli.

    • Join Date: Jul 2008
    • Posts: 1

    Re: Systemic Functional Linguistics


    I'm currently studying at Sydney Uni and have been teaching for over 5 years. A developing understanding of SFL is helping me fill in all the gaps and excceptions to the rules found in 'traditional' grammar. Using everything in context, and taking into account the different levels of choices a speaker makes language much easier.

    I've been using 'real' newspapers in Int. ESL classes with good results, and while currently on holiday (hence enough time to find this!) am searching for more info. and ideas, etc.

    Look forward to reading some more ideas!


    • Join Date: Jan 2010
    • Posts: 1

    Re: Systemic Functional Linguistics


    I came across SFL during my masters and am interested in using it in the classroom. Tried the link to openlearn but it doesn't work. Anyone still there?

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