Academic literacy and grammatical metaphor: mapping development

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    This study maps 130 Chinese EFL learners’ development of academic literacy through a focused examination of grammatical metaphor (GM), the key linguistic resource for achieving the language valued in the academy (Christie, 2002a; Christie & Derewianka, 2008; Halliday, 1994). This corpus-assisted, longitudinal study of Chinese learners’ exposition texts combines the delicate descriptions of Systemic Functional Linguistic (SFL) with the empirical resources of Corpus Linguistics, resulting in a detailed mapping of learners’ development informed through a multi dimensional framework of GM analysis. This close diachronic examination of learners’ use of experiential GM reveals salient patterns of deployment and maps detailed pathways of development. These detailed pathways are informed by quantitative patterns of frequency and variation, and qualitative patterns of metaphorical control, or the degrees of completeness and control over a reconstrual, and metaphorical enrichment, the degrees of technicality, formality and meanings committed to the metaphor (Liardét, 2013, 2014a). The paper identifies the obstacles Chinese EFL learners most frequently face when developing the resources of incongruent language to cohesively structure their texts in nominally-oriented, lexically dense, cause and effect networks, providing insights into how an EFL classroom may better equip learners to develop these critical resources.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)29-46
    Number of pages18
    JournalTESOL international journal
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


    • Grammatical metaphor
    • Nominalization
    • Academic discourse
    • Corpus linguistics
    • EFL learners


    Dive into the research topics of 'Academic literacy and grammatical metaphor: mapping development'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this