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Social Practices in Higher Education

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This book addresses Mohan’s (1986) concept of a social practice, an educational activity that can be considered as action in a frame of meaning, or a “knowledge framework” (KF). The KF, grounded in systemic functional linguistics, is a heuristic that provides both a theoretical framework for researching the language of social practices and a springboard for organizing lessons that can help teachers bring explicit language development into content teaching. This volume brings together the latest research on using Mohan’s SFL-based theory at institutions of higher learning.

One outcome of this book is to show how a functional approach to language research can be a major tool for research in the experiential tradition of John Dewey who, as a pragmatist, regarded knowledge functionally “as arising from an active adaptation of the human organism to its environment” (www.iep.utm.edu/dewey). Another outcome is to illustrate the complexity of the role activities play in education.

This is the first book to examine the linguistic demands of the activities that occur in higher education. It provides empirically grounded examples of how Mohan’s work is being implemented in universities worldwide. It thus adds to conversations addressing the use of educational activities to teach and describe disciplinary literacy and the integrated development of language and content.

Published: Jan 1, 2021

Book Contributors


Section Chapter Authors
Chapter 1
A Knowledge Framework Approach to Linguistic Research and Teaching Tammy Slater
Chapter 2
The Significance of Social Practices and Activities Bernard Mohan
Chapter 3
Corpus-based Knowledge Framework Analysis: A Deliberation of Methodology and Outcomes Elena Cotos
Chapter 4
Student Academic Writing: Situated Enactment of Genre, Argument, and Knowledge Structure Constant Leung
Chapter 5
Language for Specific Purposes and Mohan’s Knowledge Framework: An Exploratory Investigation of Graduate School Statements of Purpose Erin Todey, Timothy Kochem
Chapter 6
Perceived Effectiveness of AWE: Focus on Forms, Focus on Meaning, and Interactional Modifications Aysel Saricaoglu, Evgeny Chukharev-Hudilainen, Hui-Hsien Feng
Chapter 7
Coaching as a Social Practice Carolyn Kristjansson, Bernard Mohan
Chapter 8
Knowledge Structures as Designs: Tracing Patterns across Textual Trajectories Diane Potts
Chapter 9
Disciplinary Differences in the Knowledge Structures in University Lecture Slides Zhi Li
Chapter 10
A Social Practice Analysis of Methods Instructors’ “Disciplinary Discourse” Wendy Barlow
Chapter 11
Causal Explanations in Physics: A Functional Analysis of EFL Lectures and Textbook Excerpts Xiaoping Liang, Kimberly Becker
Chapter 12
Online Teacher Training Using the Knowledge Framework and the Teaching–Learning Cycle for Literacy Development Stephanie Link, Jesse Gleason
Chapter 13
Opportunities and Challenges of the KF for In-service Teacher Development: A Case Study Jingzi Huang, Margaret Berg
Chapter 14
The Knowledge Framework for Building Teacher Awareness of Language in Content Instruction Jesse Gleason, Elena Schmitt
Chapter 15
Learning and Using the Knowledge Framework as a Language and Content Teaching Unit Project Amy Walton, Gulbahar Beckett
Chapter 16
The Role of Functional Recasts in EFL Undergraduate Students’ Learning of Intercultural Communication Masaki Kobayashi, Emi Kobayashi
Chapter 17
Enhancing Disciplinary Learning Experience through an Adjunct English-across-the-Curriculum Model Esther Tong, Cecilia Pun, Phoebe Siu
Chapter 18
Implementing the KF in a Content-based Language Teaching Class Hong Ma, Jian Zhou