Video-recorded Introductory Classes

Annabelle Lukin from Macquarie University has kindly recorded her classes for a course on "An Introduction to SFL". See here.

Distance Courses in Systemic-Functional Linguistics


Macquarie University, Australia


From John Knox: The M. App. Ling. program at Macquarie Uni in Sydney has a number of units on / based on SFL. All of the units can be studied on-campus and by distance, and some are also online (meaning the distance materials have been adapted and put on the web):


LING900:        grammar meaning & discourse [available also in online mode]

LING907:        stylistics

LING913:        literacy

LING936:        context, use and analysis of the english language

                        (available also in online mode)

LING954:        linguistics and language teaching
                        (only offered in the postgraduate certificate in TESOL)

                        (available also in online mode)

A number of other units are broadly informed by a Hallidayan perspective on language. More at:


From Claire Scott: Macquarie offers a few external units at undergrad and Masters level. I have been teaching LING900 Grammar, Meaning and Discourse this semester, which is basically an introduction to functional grammar aimed at Masters level but assuming no prior knowledge of the subject. It can be done online, and the students are also sent materials and text books (IFG & UFG). I believe there is at least one undergrad unit (also introductory) that runs externally too (LING120).


University of Technology, Sydney (UTS), Australia

From Sue Hood: At UTS (University of Technology, Sydney) we have several subjects in our PGDip TESOL/MA TESOL and MA in Applied Linguistics that can be taken in distance mode:
  • Language in social context (introductory)
  • Grammar and the construction of meaning (with Chris Nesbitt)
  • Disccourse Analysis (SFL style) (with me)

The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK

From Caroline Coffine:  The Centre for Language and Communications, The Faculty of Education and Language Studies Staff who work with SFL (to a greater or lesser extent): Caroline Coffin, Sharon Goodman, Ann Hewings, Theresa Lillis, Sarah North, Kieran O'Halloran, Barbara Mayor, Neil Mercer.

SFL informs a great deal of our distance teaching at both undergraduate and postgraduate level and is particularly prominent in the courses detailed below. These form part of our degrees in Applied Linguistics, English Language and Literature and Modern Language Studies. However, they can also be taken as part of a diploma or as free standing modules. In the Open University system an undergraduate degree consists of 6 courses and a postgraduate degree 3 courses. Therefore each course is quite sizeable and equivalent to a year’s part time study. All distance courses are available for study in the UK, the Republic of Ireland and the following European OU study areas: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.


  • English Grammar in Context (undergraduate) (E303)

  • English Language and Literacy (undergraduate) (E300)

  • Language and Literacy in a Changing World (postgraduate) (E844)

  • Investigating language in action (postgraduate) (E854)

    In 2005 the OU will also present a new undergraduate language and literature course - The Art of English - in which there is some use of SFL as a tool to illuminate the nature of verbal art.


    The Open University
    Walton Hall
    Milton Keynes
    +44(0)1908 653231

    Anouk Lang adds: I taught E303 last year (and am no longer teaching). It's not exclusively SFL - there's corpus linguistics, some traditional grammar and other bits and pieces like forensic linguistics in there. It gives a decent grounding in register analysis, though not much more. It's third-year undergraduate level, and can be studied by those in the UK, Ireland or mainland Europe. I believe it can also be studied through the Arab Open University.

    University of Birmingham, UK

    From Lexie Donn: the distance MAs in TEFL, applied lingusitics, and translation studies at the university of Birmingham all have a module/6 unit course called 'an introduction to functional grammar', the notes originally written by Peter White in 2001. The distance course is based on notes and readings, and very little personal, directed tutoring in each module, although there are provisions for limited guidance. From my experience, it looks as if the Macquarie course puts more emphasis on SFL than the Birmingham course does.


    Honk Kong (??)

    Emily Purser:  there was also a course in functional grammar online at Hong Kong (Polytechnic I think), it used to be there for all to see, but now I think you have to pay for it.


    Future Courses

    University of Saarbruken

    From Rob Spence: I'm working on an online course for teaching SFG of English to  translation students with native language German or French, but it  won't be ready for another couple of semesters.  There are masses of  CMS-related problems to be solved before I can get anything on the net.



    Online Textbooks

    Donna Miller says there are downloadable course books available from:


    The 1st course book is being used within an e-learning course for our students: see: