The Language of Schooling: A Functional Linguistics Perspective

The Language of Schooling: A Functional Linguistics Perspective

The Language of Schooling: A Functional Linguistics Perspective

The Language of Schooling: A Functional Linguistics Perspective

Synopsis

This book explores the linguistic features of the language students need to learn for success at school. It builds on frequently-cited sociolinguistic, applied linguistic, and discourse-analytic studies of language in school, but interprets these from a functional linguistics perspective, describing the particular grammatical choices make meanings in the texts students are asked to read and write at school.

Excerpt

This book explores the linguistic features of the language students need to learn for success at school. The variety of English expected at school differs from the interactional language that students draw on for social purposes outside of school, and this book relates the grammatical and discourse features of the language expected in school tasks to the content areas, role relationships, and purposes and expectations that they realize in schooling contexts. A functional grammatical analysis reveals the challenges that the “language of schooling” (Schleppegrell, 2001) presents to students unfamiliar with this variety, including nonnative speakers of English, speakers of nonstandard dialects, and other students with little exposure to academic contexts outside of school. Children encounter the language of schooling even in the early years of formal education, and this book demonstrates how the features of this language are functional for construing knowledge in various school subjects in the later years.

The book builds on frequently cited sociolinguistic, applied linguistic, and discourse-analytic studies of language in school, but interprets these from a functional linguistics perspective, describing the linguistic demands of schooling in ways that illuminate how particular grammatical choices make meanings in the texts students are asked to read and write at school. Functional grammar is different from traditional school grammar in focusing on language as a meaningmaking resource rather than as a set of rules, and in recognizing the link between the linguistic choices of speakers and writers and the contexts those linguistic choices help realize.

This book is intended for use in teacher education, especially for teachers of middle, secondary, and postsecondary students and teachers of composition, as well as by researchers in language development and education and scholars with a . . .

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