Journal of English for Academic Purposes
Impact Factor: 1.732
5-Year Impact Factor: 2.093
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP): 1.894
SCImago Journal Rank (SJR): 1.382
Salient language features in explanation texts that students encounter in secondary school chemistry textbooks
This study examines language features that students are likely to encounter in chemistry textbooks in EMI classrooms. In consultation with teachers, the presentation of science knowledge was examined in three chemistry textbooks commonly used in Hong Kong secondary English Medium Instruction (EMI) classrooms. Student textbooks were collected from eight Grade 10–12 chemistry classrooms. Adopting a functional linguistic approach (e.g., Veel’s (1997) framework of text taxonomy), analyses showed that explanation is the most common text type in the three chemistry textbooks, and the five subtypes of explanations represented in the textbooks are causal (40%), factorial (24%), sequential (15%), consequential (13%) and theoretical (8%). The distribution of these different types of explanation texts and their features were examined to reveal the kind of language that students in EMI classrooms are likely to encounter when learning chemistry. The results show that explanation texts served as a primary linguistic reservoir for EMI students to learn the language of science. The analysis of the language features of these texts could be used to inform future pedagogies aiming at making these textbooks more accessible to students learning in English and facilitating both their science learning and control of scientific English.
Making the mechanics of paraphrasing more explicit through Grammatical Metaphor
Jennifer Walsh Marr
Paraphrasing research has often been situated as an issue of academic honesty, ownership of knowledge and discourse appropriation (Abasi, Akvari & Graves, 2006; Currie, 1998; Lyon, 2009; Pecorari, 2003; Pecorari & Shaw, 2012). This paper has a pedagogical focus, outlining how the discrete grammatical processes typical of successful paraphrasing (Keck, 2010) are used to support first year university writing students working in English as an additional language. Drawing on Halliday’s (2009) concept of Grammatical Metaphor and focusing primarily on ideas and their logical relations (known within Systemic Functional Linguistics as the ideational metafunction), shifts in form within and across clause functions are demonstrated conceptually and with explained examples. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate how highlighting some functional metalanguage can break the process of paraphrasing into more explicit moves for instructional benefit.
Encoding, decoding, packing and unpacking via agnation: Reformulating general knowledge into disciplinary concepts for teaching English academic writing
DerekI rwin1 Ning Liu2
In assessing student writing, instructors typically look for evidence that a writer has grasped concepts from the field and is using them appropriately. Texts may demonstrate this by linking discipline-specific knowledge to the everyday world, either translating common knowledge into classroom concepts, or from them. This procedure is particularly important in Economics, a real-world discipline. However, the language resources employed for this process are not generally an explicit part of the English for Specific Academic Purposes (ESAP) curriculum. This paper argues that an effective ESAP writing course should teach how language facilitates this translation process via agnation. This paper first explores the evolution of the approach to agnate relations, then applies the concept as either packing (placing common phenomena into technical terms) or unpacking (explaining technical terms through common phenomena). It then gives the results of applying this method in a classroom setting: the course “Writing for Disciplinary Studies” for Chinese Economics students studying in English. It was found that students’ writing scored higher accuracy and clarity marks when they had been explicitly instructed in these agnate relations and how to employ them in writing, but work could be done to make this process more student-friendly.
Reading nominalizations in senior science
Jing Hao1 Sally L.Humphrey2
The paper examines the challenges faced by senior Biology students in reading ‘nominalizations’ in textbook materials and illustrates how the challenges can be addressed through pedagogical activities. The study draws on emerging descriptions of field and discourse semantics in Systemic Functional Linguistics that are inspired by Halliday's distinction between ‘live’ and ‘dead’ grammatical metaphors. It first presents a metalanguage to discriminate functions of nominalization. Two different kinds of ‘mismatches’ of meaning are discussed, including how field activities are reconstrued through discourse semantic resources, and how discourse semantic resources are remapped as lexicogrammatical resources. The paper attends to nominalization from the perspective of the knowledge that is at stake in its use. In addition to providing linguistic metalanguage, the paper demonstrates pedagogic practices designed to support teachers to make this knowledge visible. These pedagogic practices include cross-mode redescription and Detailed Reading from SFL-informed Reading to Learn pedagogy.