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Writing development of Chinese learners of English : a systemic functional linguistics perspective

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Wang, X 2008 , 'Writing development of Chinese learners of English : a systemic functional linguistics perspective', PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Abstract

A big challenge facing many Chinese learners of English is how to write texts in English which are structurally complex in terms of syntax and lexical density. Grammar teaching is an important aspect of the English curriculum in Chinese tertiary institutions. However, it is heavily based on traditional grammar which tends to focus on rules and prescriptive patterns. Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL) theory developed by Halliday and his colleagues introduces four grammatical features which are useful for the teaching of writing: Theme and Rheme, lexical density, nominalisation and grammatical metaphor. They are theoretical concepts which are used to measure linguistic complexity of texts. Developing an awareness of these grammatical features is crucial to Chinese learners of English. This study is an action research which deals with the implementation of Systemic Functional Linguistics in teaching English writing to Chinese students in a Chinese tertiary education context. The study investigates the students' general understanding as well as use of SFL in general and the four grammatical features of SFL in particular. It compares the differences in writing style before and after the students were taught the four grammatical features of SFL and examines their effectiveness in improving the students' writing skills. The study also examines the teachers' views on the teaching of English writing to Chinese students. The results of this study reinforce the view that the teaching of Systemic Functional Linguistics has an important role in promoting linguistic awareness and writing competence in Chinese students.

Item Type: Thesis - PhD
Authors/Creators:Wang, X
Keywords: Systemic grammar, English language, English language
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Copyright 2008 the author

Additional Information:

Thesis (PhD)--University of Tasmania, 2008. Includes bibliographical references

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