An exploration of Chinese EFL learner's deployment of grammatical metaphor

Learning to make academically valued meanings

Cassi L. Liardét*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Citations (Scopus)


This article discusses the semiotic resources of incongruence that Chinese English as a Foreign Language (EFL) learners use when writing academic texts. Using Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL) as the theoretical framework, this study examines a cross-sectional sampling of Chinese EFL learners' deployment of grammatical metaphor (GM), a key linguistic resource for achieving academic discourse. Although GM occurs across languages, most research focuses on its use in English among first language learners and its effect on language through the reconstrual of dynamic meanings statically, through increased degrees of technicality, and logical reasoning within the clause. Furthermore, much of the research only accounts for full and appropriate deployment of GM, disregarding incomplete or intermediate realizations as 'mistakes' attributed to normal learning processes. The present study, however, aims to expand the theoretical understandings for mapping GM in second and foreign language learning contexts, seeking to identify how such 'mistakes' may contribute to and even achieve the linguistic effects of GM necessary for making meanings valued in academic discourse.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-178
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Second Language Writing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013
Externally publishedYes

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