Author: Xuan, Wenhui
Title: A longitudinal study of Chinese high school students learning English based on systemic functional text analysis
Advisors: Matthiessen, Christian M. I. M. (ENGL)
Degree: Ph.D.
Year: 2015
Subject: English language -- Study and teaching (Secondary) -- China.
Functionalism (Linguistics)
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Department of English
Pages: xx, 439 pages : illustrations ; 30 cm
Language: English
Abstract: Adopting the framework of systemic functional linguistics (Halliday & Matthiessen, 2004), the present study aims to investigate Chinese adolescent ESL learners{174} English learning by examining their writing with the data from a yearlong longitudinal study. A class of 50 best students in Junior 3 from a top 5 high school in Guangzhou China is chosen as the participants for the present study, which consists of 24 boys and 26 girls. Ten natural writing tasks throughout the whole academic year are collected from this class of students. The framework of functional text analysis for the present study is comprised of the following aspects: contextual analysis, ideational analysis, logical analysis, interpersonal analysis and textual analysis, which provides us a multiple perspectives to explore participants{174} English learning by looking at their written texts.The analysis was conducted in five phases: (1) all the ten writing tasks were conducted contextual analysis, which drew from text typology (Matthiessen, Teruya, & Lam, 2010) register theory (Halliday, 1977), genre (Martin, 2008), in order to obtain what text types students would employ in their ESL learning. (2) With the chosen three writing tasks, ten cases were chosen as manual analysis for ideational analysis, which focused on how students deploy the system of transitivity to instantiate their meaning potential; (3)Similarly, logical analysis was done by investigating how students deploy clause complex in their writing; (4) Interpersonal analysis was also conducted by looking at the participants{174} deployment of modal resources in their writing in the system of modality; (5)Finally, textual analysis was done by investigating how the participants construe their meaning potential in a text by different deployment of Themes in their writing.Based on the analyses, the present study concludes that contextually speaking, students from Junior three are lack of tenor awareness in their ESL writing, where we could not find many successful interpersonal relations building. Additionally, in L2 context, the most favored text type by students in China is recommending, which is different from what Christie & Derewianka (2008) found in Australia context. Lexicogrammatically speaking, registerial differences are identified in all these writings with different configuration of field, mode and tenor. Most of the lexicogrammatical resources students deployed are congruent type, like modality, process type, circumstance, clause complex. Homogeneity of students{174} writing is spotted in the students{174} output, which lies to the reason of exam-driven culture. With all these results and findings, relevant pedagogical and curriculum design implications are provided for improvement of instruction of ESL L2 writing at secondary level in China.
Rights: All rights reserved
Access: open access

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