Book: Hybridity in Systemic Functional Linguistics
Chapter: 6. Teaching through English: Maximal Input in meaning making
John Polias and Gail Forey focus on language education and pedagogy in which the teacher uses various hybrid modes and resources. They discuss the value of SFL in teaching through English in different key learning areas (KLA’s) in Hong Kong, where the teacher maximizes access points for the learner by using multisemiotic resources related to a wide range of subject areas. The data, collected from the KLAs of Science, Information Technology, Art, Music and Physical Education, unambiguously show that different KLA’s demand different approaches to the construction of knowledge. These are amply illustrated, as are the hybrid resources used to construct, across the curriculum, knowledge through language. The chapter argues the value of a ‘teaching learning cycle’ (e.g. Christie and Martin 1997) and a pedagogic model in which the teacher and students take on varying degrees of responsibility in co-constructing meaning in multiple cycles. The ultimate aim of the cycles is to bring the student to the point of independently constructing both matter and meaning through activities whose final goal is knowledge development.