Diluting Minority Students’ Marginalization in the Mainstream College English Writing Classroom Through Functional Linguistic Praxis: A Case Report From China
This study investigates how systemic functional linguistics (SFL)-based teaching impacted on the adjustment of Chinese minority students to the discourse of academic English writing. Through qualitative analyses of one Chinese college ethnic minority student’s interviews, reflections, written documents, and conversations, the study shows that instruction from an SFL perspective in and out of class enabled her to re-conceptualize the valued linguistic features of academic English writing and effectively engage in academic literacy, which helped her to reposition herself as an English language writer in the mainstream college classroom. The study concludes that when effective instruction is provided on features of academic English writing, minority students can adjust to mainstream teaching, meeting the demands of complex academic English writing and reconstructing their identities in challenging social–cultural contexts.
KeywordsMinority students Transition Academic success Privileged language variety Linguistic knowledge
The study was sponsored by MOE (Ministry of Education in China) key project of humanities and social sciences (16JJD740002).
- China National Statistics Bureau. (2001). 2000 Diwuci Quanguo Renkou Pucha Zhuyao Shuju Gongbao (Di Yi Hao) [The Fifth National Census Key Statistics Communique´, No. 1]. Retrieved from http://news.sohu.com/44/98/news144449844.shtml. Accessed 14 July 2017.
- Duff, P. (2008). Case study research in applied linguistics. New York: Lawrence Erlbaum/Taylor & Francis.Google Scholar
- Gebhard, M., Harman, R., & Seger, W. (2007). Reclaiming recess: Learning the language of persuasion. Language Arts, 84(5), 419–430.Google Scholar
- Halliday, M. (1994). An introduction to functional grammar. London: Arnold.Google Scholar
- Halliday, M. (1995). Language and the theory of codes. In A. Sadovnik (Ed.), Knowledge and pedagogy: The sociology of basil Bernstein (pp. 127–144). Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group.Google Scholar
- Harman, R. (2018). Transforming normative discourses of schooling: Critical systemic functional linguistics praxis. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
- Lian, S. (1993). Contrastive studies of English and Chinese. Beijing: Higher Education Press.Google Scholar
- Macken-Horarik, M., Love, K., & Unsworth, L. (2011). A grammatics ‘good enough’ for school English in the 21st century: Four challenges in realizing the potential. Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, 34(1), 9–23.Google Scholar
- Martin, J. R., & White, P. R. (2003). The language of evaluation. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
- Murphy, S. (2003). Second language transfer during third language acquisition. Working Papers in TESOL and Applied Linguistics. Retrieved from https://journals.cdrs.columbia.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/12/2015/05/3.-Murphy-2003.pdf. Accessed 3 Oct 2017.
- Schleppegrell, M. J. (2004). The language of schooling: A functional linguistics perspective. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
- White, J. W., & Ali-Khan, C. (2013). The role of academic discourse in minority students’ academic assimilation. American Secondary Education, 42(1), 24–41.Google Scholar