CELFS Teaching and Learning Network

SFL: carrying a torch for language analysis since the 70s


by Steven Peters

With JEAP (Journal of English for Academic Purposes) publishing a special issue titled 25 Years of “Genre Analysis” (September 2015), it seems appropriate to pick up on talk during the 2015 pre-sessional of Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL).

According to Martin* (2009), since the 1970s SFL has provided the impetus for the identification of cohesive devices in language texts, the development of Genre Analysis, and attempts to understand genre mixing. There may be quite a few ways that such language or discourse analysis lends itself to EAP practices, beyond understanding how language in target settings is used to get things done. Perhaps, such approaches can inform what we expect of the skills early career academics such as EAP students need to develop in order to investigate relevant language use for themselves robustly.

Here is a link to a list of projects using such an approach compiled by Caroline Coffin and Jim Donohue for the Open University.

Once you have had a look, feel free to share your thoughts, responses, and insights via this blog site to share a bit of SFL love (or otherwise) among the CELFS pre-sessional community. You may like to share links to a project or a set of materials you have been involved in producing as well, if you feel it is appropriate.


*Martin, J.R. (2009) Discourse studies in Halliday, M.A.K. and Webster, J.J. (2009) (eds.) Continuum Companion to Systemic Functional Linguistics, London: Continuum.

– not ‘our’ Martin unfortunately (ed.)


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