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SFG and Language teaching

Introductory course - Workshop

maria belen fernandez

on 13 October 2012

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Transcript of SFG and Language teaching

Grammar THEME AND RHEME Situational variable that has to do with the focus of the activity in which we’re engaged, sometimes known as the ‘topic’.
It varies along a dimension of technicality. FIELD Genre Context of Culture BASIC NOTIONS Depends on WHERE Themes come from (if from previous Themes or from previous Rhemes) Thematic progression The particular way a text or a segment of a text unfolds or develops (i. e. the organizational pattern of a text or section of a text), as determined by the overall purpose of the text or the function of the particular segment Method of development SFG and English Teaching
An Introductory Workshop Language Grammar Theory of language Set of systems:
unlimited choice
of ways of
creating meanings What’s your name?
Tell me your name.
I’d like to know your name. Specific situations Context of situation Register FIELD TENOR MODE Metafunctions IDEATIONAL /
(what is going on) Role relations between those
taking part: power, affect,
contact. Amount of feedback and
role of language
(how language is being used: mode of action or reflection) Technical Language Everyday Language Technicality Technical terms (cc) image by anemoneprojectors on Flickr Acronyms Technical action processes Attributive (descriptive) processes Everyday terms Full names Identifying processes
(defining terms) TENOR Extent to which the interactants are emotionally involved or committed
to the situation Interactant's emotional envolvement POWER AFFECTIVE ENVOLVEMENT CONTACT 3 Different Continua Equal Unequal Frequent Infrequent High Low Situation types Informal Formal Equal power
Frequent contact
High affective envolvement Unequal, hierarchic power
Infrequent contact
Low affective involvement Linguistic consequences Attitudinal lexis Neutral lexis

Colloquial lexis Formal lexis
-abbreviated forms -full forms
-slang -no slang
-swearing -no swearing

Interruptions, overlap Careful turn-taking

First names, Nicknames Titles, no names

Modalisation to express probability Modalisation to express deference MODE Channel of communication and the role of language in
the interaction DISTANCE SPATIAL / INTERPERSONAL EXPERIENTIAL Casual conversation telephone e-mail fax radio novel

+ visual contact -visual -visual -visual -visual -visual

+aural contact +aural -aural -aural -aural -aural

+immediate +i.f. +i.f. +rapid f. +/-rapid f. +delayed f.
feedback (i.f.) Playing a game commentating recounting experience reconstructing experience
Bridge calling a match report in the newspaper non-fiction

language accompanying Language constituting
social process social process
Language as ACTION Language as REFLECTION Typical situations
of language use Spoken discourse Written text + Interactive non-interactive
2 or + participants one participant
+ face to face not face-to-face
In the same place on her own
at the same time
+ language as action not language as action
Using language to using language to reflect
accomplish some task
+ spontaneous not spontaneous
Without rehearsing what planning, drafting and rewriting
is going to be said
+ casual not casual
Informal and every day formal and special
occasions The context - meaning - wording
relationship Context of situation Meaning / Semantics Wording / Lexico grammar FIELD






THEME - RHEME / COHESION The point of departure of the clause, that links the clause to the preceding clauses and to its context and tells us what it is about, usually representing given or shared information and presenting a peak of prominence at the beginning of the clause.
To know what aspects the text addresses The point where the clause moves to after its onset, presenting new information and a peak of prominence deriving from new information and signaled by the main stress.
To know what point the text is making.
Brings the text forward, makes for progression in text. Everything that takes initial position in the clause up to and including the first experiential element Everything that is not the Theme Single Topical
(experiential) Theme System Unmarked Marked Multiple Textual + topical Interpersonal + Topical Textual + Interpersonal + Topical Continuatives
(well, now, yeah, ok, right) Conjunctions
(and, but, or, so, when, because) Conjunctive adjuncts
(nevertheless, however, therefore) Nominal group or pronoun

Nominal group complex

Embedded clause Vocatives
(names, nicknames)
Mary, you have been chosen.

Finite(in yes / no questions)
Will you help us?

Modal adjuncts (probability, frequency,
attitudinal) Perhaps he is angry. Not depending on where Themes come from,
but rather on the content of Themes. Topographical Contrastive Classificatory Meronymic
(= part-whole) Sequential Types Chronological Short biographies (in encyclopedias or textbooks) and brief historical recounts and accounts Circumstances of temporal location in thematic position as Marked theme, providing a temporal (re)orientation/contextualization to the events recounted in the text Sequential/ temporal conjunctive adjuncts as textual theme (conjunctive adjuncts indicating sequence in time) in complementarity with Marked Themes (Circumstances of time location and dependent clauses of enhancement: temporal in Theme position). Process, instructional, argumentative
texts and of anticipations of development in
academic texts. Circumstances of spatial location in Thematic position as Marked themes and through existential “There” in Thematic position. Guide-books, descriptions of pictures, and
any other text that seeks to help interlocutor
find his way through a place, picture, scene, etc . Topical unmarked themes that refer
to a class of entities or to members
of that class Informative texts presenting classifications or taxonomies (school textbooks; introductory textbooks to different areas) Combination of unmarked themes referring to the whole of an entity and unmarked themes referring to parts of it. Encyclopedic entries or sections of textbooks
(zoology, biology, etc.) that describe plants,
animals, etc. Themes referring alternately to one or the other topic being compared Contrast / comparison texts The way a text progresses
or unfolds as determined by
theme-selection Types / Patterns Constant Common shared theme Biographical information

Encyclopaedic entries

Text providing descriptions or factual
information of something

Short stories and essays
(character being singled out for special attention) Linear /
Zig- Zag Theme 1
Theme 1
Theme 1
Theme 1 Rheme 1
Rheme 2
Rheme 3
Rheme 4 Rheme of one clause as theme
of a subsequent clause Process texts Theme 1

Theme 2

Theme 3

Theme 4 Rheme 1

Rheme 2

Rheme 3

Rheme 4 Split The Rheme of a clause with two components,
each of which is taken in turn as the Theme
of a subsequent clause. Expository, argumentative and discussion texts Theme 1

Theme 2

Theme 3 Rheme 1

Rheme 2

Rheme 3 Derived Expressions in Theme position cohesively linked in meaning, but not necessarily in form, to a topic which has been stated earlier in a text Educational books Main topic

derived topic 1
derived topic 2
derived topic 3 Mode coherence Field coherence Generic coherence Cohesion Texture Coherence TEXT (cc) photo by theaucitron on Flickr A stretch/piece of language, written or spoken, which hangs together/which forms a unified whole, which has texture.
(i.e. that is coherent and cohesive) It is the quality of a text whereby it is recognizably a unified whole/ a text rather than a collection of disconnected sentences.
A text has texture when it is coherent
and cohesive. Consistency of purpose
and consistency in field,
tenor and mode Cohesive ties, such as,
pronouns all referring to
the same thing or person
or repetition of certain lexical items. Reference - substitution - ellipsis Coherence in generic purpose Consistency in subject matter, absence of digressions Tenor coherence Consistency in the kind
of relationship between interactants and in the
kind of attitude being expressed Coherence in the use
of features of either spoken or written language GENERIC NAME: AMOXICILLIN - ORAL
USES: Amoxicillin is used to treat a wide variety
of bacterial infections. It works by stopping the growth of bacteria. This antibiotic treats only bacterial infections. It will not work for viral infections (such as common cold, flu).
HOW TO USE: Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor, usually every 8 or 12 hours. The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. Drink plenty of fluids while using this medication unless your doctor tells you otherwise. http://prezi.com/2aqzupslonz9/sfg-and-language-teaching/ Eveline

SHE sat at the window watching the evening invade the avenue. Her head was leaned against the window curtains and in her nostrils was the odour of dusty cretonne. She was tired.
Few people passed. The man out of the last house passed on his way home; she heard his footsteps clacking along the concrete pavement and afterwards crunching on the cinder path before the new red houses. One time there used to be a field there in which they used to play every evening with other people's children. Topical element

Nominal group or pronoun:
The numbat is a mursupial.
It is original of Australia.

Nominal group complex:
The numbat and the Kangaroo are from Australia.

Embedded clause:
What we need is change. Circumstantial adjuncts:
For at least two hours the boy loved him.

Adverbials in phrasal verbs:
Off/Out he went.

Change is what we need.

(We had wanted him to leave)
and left he had. My second story is about love and loss.
I was lucky. I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz and I started Apple in my parents’ garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees. We had just released our finest creation — the Macintosh — a year earlier, and I had just turned 30. And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started? Well, as Apple grew, we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me, and for the first year or so things went well. But then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out. When we did, our Board of Directors sided with him. So at 30 I was out. And very publicly out. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.
I really didn't know what to do for a few months. I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down - that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me. I met with David Packard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly. I was a very public failure, and I even thought about running away from the valley. But something slowly began to dawn on me. I still loved what I did. The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit. I had been rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over. George Bernard Shaw’s biography
George Bernard Shaw was born in Dublin, Ireland, on July 26, 1856. He attended four different schools, but his real education came from a thorough grounding in music and painting, which he obtained at home. In 1871, he was apprenticed to a Dublin estate agent, and later he worked as a cashier. In 1876, Shaw joined his mother and sister in London, where he spent the next nine years in unrecognized struggle and genteel poverty.
From 1885 to 1898, he wrote for newspapers and magazines as a critic of art, literature, music and drama. But his main interest at this time was political propaganda and, in 1884, he joined the Fabian society. The formation of alluvial fans
After flash floods, desert streams from upland areas carry heavy loads of silt, sand and rock fragments. As they reach the flatter areas of desert basins, they slow down and their waters may soak quickly into the basin floor. Then, the streams drop their loads; first they drop the heaviest material – the stones, then [they drop] the sand and finally [they drop] the silt. Soon, these short-lived streams become choked by their own deposits and they spread their load in all directions. After some time, fan or cone-shaped deposits of gravel, sand, silt and clay are formed around each valley or canyon outlet. These are called alluvial fans. Guidebook description of Singapore
On the Empress Place side of the river a statue of Sir Stamford Raffles stands imperiously by the water. It’s in the approximate place where he first set foot on Singapore island. There is a second statue of Raffles in front of the clock tower by Empress Place. Nearby is the Supreme Court and City Hall, across from which is the open green of the Padang, site for cricket, hockey, football and rugby matches. There are some memorials to civilians who died because of the Japanese occupation and to Ling Bo Seng, a resistance leader killed by the Japanese.
Up Coleman from the Padang, … Computer programs

Programs issue instructions to the computer. Many programs process files. For example, a message program can, by following your commands, create and [it: a message program can] send a message and [it: a message program can] manipulate a file of messages. A text-editing program can follow commands to create a text-file and edit it, while a text-formatting program can follow commands to format texts by centering a heading, enumerating a list, italicizing a name, etc. Programs are stored as files in the system. The numbat is an unmistakeable slender marsupial with a pointed muzzle and short erect ears. The body is reddish brown, but the rump is much darker and has about six white bars across it. The eye has a black stripe through it and the long bushy tail is yellowish. The toes are strongly clawed and very effective in digging out termites. The tongue is extremely long as in all mammalian ant or termite eaters. Unlike most marsupials, the numbat is active during the day. It shelters in hollow logs. It was once relatively common but now lives only in a small area of S. W. South Australia. The nature of the US participation in the two world wars
Although the United States participated heavily in World War I (WW I), the nature of that participation was fundamentally different from what it became in World War II (WW II). The earlier conflict was a one-ocean war for the Navy and a one theatre war for the Army; the latter was a two-ocean war for the Navy and one of five major theatres for the Army. In both wars a vital responsibility of the Navy was escort-of-convoy and anti-submarine work, but in the 1917-1919 conflict it never clashed with the enemy on the surface; whilst between 1941-1945 it fought some twenty major and countless minor engagements with the Japanese Navy.
American soldiers who engaged in WW I were taken overseas in transports and (they were) landed on docks or in protected harbours; in WW II the art of amphibious warfare had to be revived and developed, since assault troops were forced to fight their way ashore. Airpower, in the early conflict, was still inchoate and almost negligible; in the latter it was a determining factor. In WW I the battleship still reigned queen of the sea, as she had, in changing forms, since the age of Drake. Battle Line fought with tactics inherited from the age of sail; but in WW II the capital naval force was the air-craft carrier task group, for which completely new tactics had to be devised. If I lend you my newspaper, we’ll start talking. If we start talking, we’ll become friends. If we become friends, I’ll invite you to my house in Venice. If I invite you to my house, you’ll meet my beautiful daughter, Nicoletta. If you meet Nicoletta, you’ll fall in love with her. If you fall in love with her, you’ll run away together. If you run away, I’ll find you. If I find you, I’ll kill you. That’s why I won’t lend you my newspaper. The sub-classification that we can make of ellipsis is the same as the one we made for substitution: nominal, verbal or clausal. In the case of nominal ellipsis, we can omit the head of a noun group or the head plus the classifier. For example, “I cannot see any wine. There isn’t any.” or “I took the green sweater and she took the black.” Verbal ellipsis is the omission of the lexical verb in short form answers and responses. In that case, we call it lexical ellipsis, or the omission of the finite or the operator which is called operator ellipsis. For example, “I’ll help you. I’ll save you! You can’t. I can.” or “The boys were filling the bags; the men moving them to the dikes.” In this second example, we have operator ellipsis. And the last group, clausal ellipsis, is the omission of the whole clause, especially in answers to yes-no questions or to Wh-questions when we focus the answer only on the element that represents the gap.
Source: Mrs. Cecilia Montorsi de Torres’ class on May 21ST, Facultad de Filosofía y Letras, U.N.Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina. Toucan Blue
Toucan Blue is a four bedroom beachfront house with large deck for outdoor living. It is decorated in fresh, lively colors of the Caribbean with photos of various Roatan scenes placed throughout the house. Ceiling fans and air conditioning are available in each room.
The bright, open main floor of the house has hardwood floors and tall ceilings. It features the living area, full kitchen, dining area, a half bath, and huge covered deck space. Views of the sea and barrier reef provide the picture perfect scene. The kitchen is well equipped with stove, refrigerator with icemaker, microwave, cookware, dishes, and serving essentials.
The large entertainment sized deck is perfect for outdoor living. It's a great place to relax with morning coffee, and the barbeque grill brings cooking outdoors. It's also a perfect place to listen to the soft waves breaking against the reef and for star-gazing at night.
The sapphire blue bedroom on the upper level is adjacent to the large ceramic tile-covered deck with panoramic views of the sea and reef. It has a private bathroom with shower, tall ceilings and is surrounded by windows.
The emerald green bedroom also has a large picture window to greet each morning with a view of the sea and reef. It has a private bathroom with shower. Integration
Practice Listen to the song and analyze it taking into account the following topics. Support with examples.

Field - Tenor - Mode (coherence)

Theme and Rheme

Method of development


I was dreaming of the past

And my heart was beating fast

I began to lose control

I began to lose control

I didn't mean to hurt you

I'm sorry that I made you cry

Oh no, I didn't want to hurt you

I'm just a jealous guy

I was feeling insecure

1You might not love me anymore

I was shivering inside

I was shivering inside

I didn't mean to hurt you

I'm sorry that I made you cry

Oh no, I didn't want to hurt you

Oh no, I didn't want to hurt you

I'm just a jealous guy

I didn't mean to hurt you

I'm sorry that I made you cry

Oh no, I didn't want to hurt you

I'm just a jealous guy

I was trying to catch your eyes

Thought that you was trying to hide

I was swallowing my pain

I was swallowing my pain

I didn't mean to hurt you

I'm sorry that I made you cry

Oh no, I didn't want to hurt you

I'm just a jealous guy, watch out

I'm just a jealous guy, look out babe

I'm just a jealous guy Conventions that establish which textually achieved goals are acceptable in a given culture and the stages one should go through to attain them Specific socially recognized forms which result
from using language to accomplish something.
A staged, goal oriented, purposeful activity
that people engaged in as speakers of a language. We do something
through language It is undertaken
to achieve
something Purpose not fulfilled
at once. Go through
a number of steps
to achieve it. Model a text / genre to be in a better position to:
produce a text of a given genre

teach the text to our students

write texts in English as a professional Relationship between context and text Context is in text: text carries with it aspects
of the context in which it was produced.

Context may function as a retrieval resource
to clear up indeterminacy of meaning. Impact of dimensions
of the immediate
context of situation
of a language event
on the way language
is used Language used to organized, understand and express our perceptions about the world and of our own consciousness.
How we talk about actions, feelings, situations, states. Language used to enable us to participate in communicative acts with other people, to take on roles and to express and understand feelings, attitudes and judgements. Language used to relate what is said to the rest of the text and to other linguistic events. Important in the creation of coherence in spoken and written texts. Enabling metafunction: makes it possible to make experiential and interpersonal meanings by distributing experiential and interpersonal elements in the clause. Well, I'm afraid I disagree. "... and she left." "... because she had left." Besides I don't agree. Two textual patterns achieved
through Theme and Rheme selections
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