The author of the following research paper "Language Activities Based on the Systemic Functional Model" highlights that the conceptualisation of Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL) by Michael Halliday in the 1960s has undoubtedly transformed the way language is taught in today’s classrooms…
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Today, systemic functionalists progress with a more non-restrictive approach to teaching spoken English, allowing students, especially in non-native classes to learn the language with greater ease and more chances of making meaning. Applying the idea of SFL, this paper analyses two activities for English language teaching at the intermediate level. The activities were taken from Billbrough’s (2007; pp.54, 157) book titled, Dialogue Activities.
The two activities are recommended for pre-intermediate and higher levels. According to Billbrough, dialogues are ideal to promote the speaking skills of the students. Based on this recommendation to incorporate authentic dialogues, it can be assumed that the book adheres to Halliday’s SFL principles. Analyses of the activities in the book could give light to the issue.
From the time of its formal introduction up to now, SFL has received impressive attention from grammarians. Thus, scholars and researchers have made further enquiry and elucidations to expound on the ideas of Halliday. In order to achieve focus, this paper analyses the activities based on some main principles that Halliday (Halliday & Webster, 2003) introduced as follows:
The first activity is called The Words I’d like to Own. In this activity, the aim is for students to learn new vocabulary words/phrases/terms/statement from a transcript and make the language part of their active vocabulary. The students will read a transcript and pick from it some words or phrases that they like to imitate and form part of their own vocabulary. After choosing, they will discuss with their group and decide on two phrases or words to use in dialogue. The group will present the dialogue to the class and the audience will identify the target language/term/phrase/statement the group incorporated into their speech.
The suggested dialogue activity is a good attempt to adopt the SFL Model. The beginning of the activity illustrates the main principle of SFL to teach students of the difference between spoken and written language.
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