A systemic-functional analysis of english language learners' writing

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Abstract

This article presents a systemic-functional linguistic analysis of two writing samples of the University of California Analytical Writing Placement (AWP) Examination written by English language learners (ELLs). The analysis shows the linguistic features utilized in the two writing samples, one that received a passing score and one that received a failing score. The article describes some of the grammatical resources which are functional for expository writing, which are divided under three main categories: textual, interpersonal, and ideational resources. Following this brief description is the analysis of both essays in terms of these resources. The configuration of grammatical features used in the essays make up the detached style of essay 1 and the more personal style of essay 2. These grammatical features include the textual resources of thematic choices and development, clause-combining strategies (connectors), and lexical cohesion; interpersonal resources of interpersonal metaphors of modality; and ideational resources of nominalization and abstractions as ideational metaphors. Implications for educational practice and recommendations for educators based on the analysis are provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)207-237
Number of pages31
JournalDELTA Documentacao de Estudos em Linguistica Teorica e Aplicada
Volume31
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

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Keywords

  • English language learners
  • Expository writing
  • Systemic-functional linguistic analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Linguistics and Language

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