Explication Of Systemic Functional Linguistics Within The Purview Of English As A Second Language In The Digital Age


    The paper explicates the systemic functional linguistics as a theory of language and its applicability in a second language situation. The study focuses on how systemic functional linguistics (henceforth SFL) practice by teachers and learners can improve English learning and social practice in a second language situation. SFL goes beyond being just an analytical tool and a source of providing learner with language resources. It explores the values and orientations encoded in everyday interactions to unravel some of the complexities of human language and academic discursive practices. Context is a crucial component of meaning making in SFL theory. SFL provides speakers and users with unlimited choice of ways of creating meaning which is known as linguistic choice and sees language as a set of system from which we make conscious-relevant choices. Linguistic choices are made by learners and users in a bid to employ right language forms that are contextually suitable for the intended message. For Halliday (1991, 1998), like Firth and Malinowski before him, context was a crucial component in meaning making. Halliday asked the question about why language functioned in certain ways in specific contexts. SFL is part of the wholistic approach to understanding the complexity of language through it metalanguage - language use to describe language. Hasan (2011: 338-339) states that:

    A truly functional linguistics views language as a potential for meaning, and it relates the internal form of human language to the speakers' social contexts within which meaning develop in the first place. In this approach to language, the form of language is not a body of rules built into the brain, to be followed naturally and mechanically; it is a social resource for making meanings. [...] It is essentially this functional perspective that is relevant to the business of language teaching, because it can provide the most effective link between the mother tongue and the other tongue which is being learned as a second or foreign language.

    Keywords: functional linguistics, context, meaning-making, linguistic choices, complexity

    Download the file by clicking here:

    author/Sade Olagunju (PhD)

    journal/Zamfara IJOH Vol. 1 Issue 3