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Language in Action

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Language in Action: SFL Theory across Contexts brings together recent research in elementary and secondary education, higher education, and translation studies, informed by Systemic Functional Linguistics. Authors reporting from a range of international contexts offer new insights into curriculum and instructional issues in subjects including history, physical education, and mathematics, with a focus on development of students’ reading, writing, and disciplinary literacy skills. The chapters also report on studies in teacher education and student learning in settings where Spanish, Danish, or English are the languages of instruction, and the development of advanced academic writing in these languages is a particular focus of studies in higher education. The translation studies offer new perspectives on translation from classical Chinese literature and Italian museum texts. Across the volume, the chapters present innovations in genre pedagogy, pedagogical and methodological uses of SFL metalanguage, and approaches to curriculum development and school-based research. The authors draw on functional grammar, register theory, Appraisal, and Legitimation Code Theory to offer new analytic approaches and insights. This book offers readers a range of work that can inspire and inform researchers and students interested in new approaches to Systemic Functional Linguistics in action.

Published: Jun 1, 2021

Book Contributors

Section Chapter Authors
Introduction María Estela Brisk, Mary Schleppegrell
Part I: Studies in Elementary and Secondary Education
1. Theory Inspired Best Practices: Elementary Teachers Appropriate SFL Theory to Inform their Practice María Estela Brisk
2. The Role of Meaningful Sentence-level Metalanguage: Insights from Children’s Thinking with Functional Grammar Mary Schleppegrell, Carrie Symons
3. From Buttocks to Seminal Muscles: SFL-based Physical Education Ruth Mulvad
4. A Geometry Teacher’s Actions for Engaging Students in Mathematizing from Real-World Contexts: A Linguistic Analysis Gloriana Gonzalez
Part II: Studies in Student and Faculty Development with Respect to Academic Writing at the University Level
5. Exploring New Perspectives and Degrees of Delicacy in Appraisal Studies: An Analysis of Engagement Resources in Academic Discourse in Spanish Julio César Valerdi Zárate
6. A Functional Study of Transitivity and Attitude in Student Writing in Spanish across Disciplines: Making Connections Natalia Ignatieva, Daniel Rodríguez-Vergara, Victoria Zamudio
7. Scaffolding the Wave: Supporting Student Teachers in Professional Academic Writing Through LCT and SFL Anna-Vera Meidell Sigsgaard, Susanne Karen Jacobsen
8. Scaffolding Argument Writing in History: The Evolution of an Interdisciplinary Collaboration Silvia Pessoa, Thomas D. Mitchell, Aaron Jacobson
Part III: Studies in Translation
9. Translation as Re-instantiation: An Investigation of Verbal Projection Hailing Yu, Canzhong Wu
10. Building and Enhancing Intercultural Communication in Museum Spaces through SFL and Translation Studies Marina Manfredi
End Matter
Index Mary Schleppegrell, María Estela Brisk


A collection of well-rounded studies in the fields of education and translation. The chapters present meaningful ways of analyzing the role and potential of language in the two fields, as well as innovative applications, such as curriculum design and teaching language across the disciplines, and nuances between classical, modern, and multimodal texts, respectively. The three sections of the book include interconnected chapters that highlight powerful SFL resources and profound insights that will enrich researchers and practitioners. Moreover, the chapters expand SFL possibilities through various languages (Spanish, Danish, Chinese, Italian, English as a second language), countries (Mexico, Denmark, Qatar, Italy), and contexts (educational settings, literature field, and museums). Recurrent themes of professional collaboration, scaffolding, explicit teaching, and disciplinary language evolve and repeat as leitmotifs throughout the book.
Language in Action: SFL Theory across Context includes an exemplary corpus of SFL studies, illustrating broad possibilities, stimulating reflective inquiries, and encouraging collaborations between experts in different fields of knowledge.
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