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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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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
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2008 the author

Additional Information:

Available for library use only and copying in accordance with the Copyright Act 1968, as amended. Thesis (PhD)--University of Tasmania, 2008. Includes bibliographical references

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