Researching Language in Schools and Communities is designed for those who intend to carry out and / or study research in children's language development, teaching English as a second language, children's literature, casual conversation, social class and language variation, classroom discourse, reading processes, teaching writing, literacy and curriculum area learning, critical literacies and related areas. The contributors are among the foremost researchers in these fields. In this book they introduce approaches to help investigate such areas in applied language research using systemic functional linguistics (SFL). A key purpose of this text is to facilitate the further engagement of language researchers with SFL perspectives, encouraging more collaborative transdisciplinary work across different fields of study and theoretical approaches in projects of mutual concern. The first two chapters outline the key aspects of SFL descriptions of the relationships between language and social context and the inter-related descriptions of text structures and grammatical systems.
This provides sufficient background to enable those coming new to SFL to make productive, critical use of the research reviewed, studies described and advice on project design provided in the following chapters. Nevertheless, the book is an introductory resource and particular attention has been paid throughout to the extensive provision of clear references to more elaborated accounts of the important issues discussed.
Len Unsworth is Professor in English and Literacies Education at the University of New England in Armidale, Australia.