Academic literacy and grammatical metaphor

mapping development

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

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
Volume10
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Keywords

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

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