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Book: Language in Action

Chapter: 7. Scaffolding the Wave: Supporting Student Teachers in Professional Academic Writing Through LCT and SFL

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.40632


Like many students, pre-service teachers in Denmark often exhibit difficulty writing about practice in a theoretically informed way. This chapter employs Legitimation Code Theory (LCT) and SFL analyses in conjunction to illustrate how students in a tertiary education setting are able to connect what they know (theory and theoretical concepts) with what they see (in this case, examples of educational practice and teaching materials). In analyzing examples of analysis-sections from student teachers’ written exams, we show how some students are more successful in presenting their analyses as emerging professionals while contrasting these with less successful examples. More specifically, semantic gravity and the notion of semantic waves from LCT identify where in analysis-section texts students make the connections between theory and practice, while resources from lexico-grammar and discourse semantics (including Appraisal theory) from SFL demonstrate how this can be done more or less successfully using genre-appropriate academic language. Insights from the analyses presented suggest that teaching students these same analytical tools from LCT and SFL more or less explicitly will help to both improve their academic writing and support their emerging professional identities.

Chapter Contributors

  • Anna-Vera Meidell Sigsgaard ( - asigsgaard) 'University College of Copenhagen'
  • Susanne Karen Jacobsen ( - sjacobsen) 'University College of Copenhagen'