Teaching of Systemic Functional Linguistics:
East and South East Asia


City University

Jonathan Webster

Jonathan Webster teaches SFG.

CityU is now the home of the Halliday Centre for Intelligent Applications of Language Studies.

Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Department of English
Christian Matthiessen
Diana Slade

Prof Christian Matthiessen and Prof Diana Slade teach a research-degree level subject "Functional Text Typology: Register Variation in Institutional Contexts". This subject is open to all research students in Hong Kong universities. You can approach your research office / graduate school for application. The lectures will be on Mondays 18:30 to 20:30, starting on Monday 17 Jan 2011, at the Hunghom campus of PolyU.

University of Hong Kong

Peter Falvey

 Peter Falvey teaches SFG in a course for the MA students.

The deadline for application is 14 Jan 2011 (tomorrow), but late application would be entertained. Attached please find the brief information about the subject. If you have any queries, please feel free to approach Vinci Leung at egvinci@polyu.edu.hk.


University of Medan, Sumatra

Silvana Sinar
Amrin Saragih

 SS: "We have been teaching SFT for 2 years now in our university in Medan ( a small uni in Sumatra Island , Indonesia). It is taught through a course called "Discourse Analysis" which is offered to the final Semester students at the English Dept. (a BA course ). Within 16 lessons in one semester, besides SFT we also have to introduce 2 other theories. I find out our students are so much interested in using SFT for their research. Only Amrin Saragih and I are SFT followers in Medan, that's why we work very hard to promote it, to search books here and there...


Columbia University Teachers College, Tokyo campus

Terry Royce
Virginia Locastro

 There is a significant proportion of SFL readings in courses taught by Terry Royce and Virginia Locastro. The students have to sit for an MA Exam in Tokyo AND New York based on selected readings in linguistics, SLA research and TESOL matters, and that as of last September, the students have been required to read Halliday's Language as Social Semiotic (1978).

2007: Terry teaches Discourse Analysis (A&HL-4104), which covers Hallidayan discourse analysis and some CDA.

 Contact: Terry Royce (columbia@gol.com)


Universiti Malaysia Sarawak

Peter F. Cullip

 I am currently teaching an introductory course, labelled `Pedagogical Grammar', in systemic functional linguistics, focusing on th genre-based approach to literacy teaching and learning. The course is offered to first year B.Sc.(TESL) students and introduces the lexicogrammatical and discourse semantic systems of the model in the context of the exploration of the powerful genres of education.

 A substantial systemic element also weaves through another TESL course: Reading Techniques for E.S.L. The core texts currently recommended are Eggins, Gerot and Wignell, and Derewianka.

Contact: Peter Cullip pcullip@clcs.unimas.my

University of Malaya

Faculty of Languages and Linguistics

Dr. Sridevi Sriniwass (sridevi@um.edu.my)

Dr. Sriniwass offers the following course:
  • TXGB 6319: Analysing and Using Language: A Functional Perspective an elective one semester course (with three hours a week) offered to those doing Masters in Linguistics and Masters in English as a Second Language (MESL). It provides an introduction to the principles and practices underlying SFL. Using M.A.K. Halliday’s work as a foundation, learners are provided with a basic introduction to the philosophy underlying functional grammar practices in comparison to formal grammar and traditional grammar. The course demonstrates how systemic techniques may be used to analyze language in context. Learners are provided with practice activities to explore how grammatical analysis can elucidate meaning at text and discourse level. Learners are also provided with the skills and training to carry out research on language using the SFL approach. Emphasis is on the analysis and interpretation of authentic texts from common everyday sources, namely those from the media such as letters to the editor, letters to the advisory column, feature articles and editorials as well as brochures, pamphlets, short stories, children’s stories and short R & D articles. Learners are made aware of how a grammatical analysis may be used to understand how meanings are conveyed through language in social communication. Recent SFL research and publications is also explored.

    1. Thompson, Geoff. 1996. Introducing Functional Grammar. G.B.: Arnold.
    2. Bloor T. & Bloor M. 2004. The Functional Analysis of English. G.B.: Arnold.



National University of Singapore

Dept of English Language & Literature

Dr Kay O'Halloran (ellkoh@nus.edu.sg)
Dr Ismail Talib (ellibst@nus.edu.sg)
Dr Peter Wignell (ellpfw@nus.edu.sg)
Assoc Prof. Michelle Lazar (ellmml@nus.edu.sg)

The Department of English Language & Literature offers undergraduate and postgraduate courses in systemic functional linguistics and multimodal analysis. The following courses are offered in 2007/08.

  • Topics in English Language: Systemic Functional Grammar (EL4880)
  • EL5881 Linguistic Theories and Frameworks (SFL)
  • EL5270 Explorations in Applied Linguistics (Multimodal Analysis)
  • Textual Construction of Knowledge (EL5253, postgraduate course) (Taught by Michelle Lazar, Semester 1): a course on critical discourse analysis, which uses SFL and multimodal frameworks for the study of how knowledge(s) about social realities and identities get discursively produced, resisted and negotiated in a variety of domains.
There are also quite a few dissertations using SFG approach completed here at NUS at Honours, Masters and PhD level. Quite a systemic presence here!

Assoc Prof. Michelle Lazar is available to supervise doctorates, her specialisation being drawing upon SFL (and other discourse frameworks) in the study of CDA, multimodality, gender, media and politics.


The National University of Singapore also offers attractive postgraduate research scholarships for MA and PhD studies.  The scholarships are open to students interested in undertaking postgraduate research in any aspect of systemic functional linguistics and multimodal analysis.


The Multimodal Analysis Lab is an university-level research centre specialising in systemic functional approaches to multimodal analysis of images, video texts and interactive digital sites using digital media technology.  Scholarships are available for postgraduate research students to complete their PhD research project in the lab.

For further information please contact:
Assoc Prof Kay O'Halloran (idmkoh@nus.edu.sg)
Director, Multimodal Analysis Lab, IDMI


Assumption University, Bangkok

Graduate School of English

Joe Foley

Joe Foley teaches a course in SFL:

  • Grammar, Meaning and Discourse (ET 6004).
Dr Foley supervises MA theses with a SFL orientation. He has supervised several since coming to AU in June 2006. He says "Our students come from all over Asia/India/Europe and The States...as it is an International university with English as the medium of instruction."