Teaching of Systemic Functional Linguistics: UK
Aston University, Birmingham
English Studies, School of Languages and Social Sciences
Professor Malcolm Coulthard
needed, but there is a degree of SFL influence in some of the courses
Out of date information: No SFL in undergraduate courses,
but two SFL modules as part of the MSc in TESOL/TESP :
Distance learner courses also offered.
- Grammar of Modern English (entirely SFG)
- Text and Discourse Analysis (overwhelmingly SFL)
Susan Hunston (email@example.com, Head of Department)
Carmen-Rosa Caldas-Coulthard (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Michael Toolan (email@example.com)
MT: "Systemic linguistics is the descriptive and theoretical
which predominates in a number of our undergraduate and postgraduate
and is also used by some of our doctoral students in their work.
At the u/g level it is prominent in our Literary Stylistics, Language
Ideology, and Advanced Grammar courses, among others. We use
of the well-known introductions -- Eggins, Bloor and Bloor, Thompson,
et al, etc - as well as other coursebooks which use SFL, such as my own
Language in Literature. At the graduate level we naturally extend
to the more specialized studies, including Kress and Van Leeuwen,
Martin, and so on. IFG (94) itself is, of course, the point of
shall we say, for all these studies.
Staff who teach or apply SFL include: Carmen-Rosa Caldas
Coulthard, Charles Owen, Murray Knowles, and myself (Michael
Carmen Rosa Caldas-Coulthard adds: "We teach a course called Describing
Language - Introduction to Functional Grammar to our M.A students
Translation Studies, Special Applications of Linguistics, English
for Special Purposes and Stylistics, which is essentially an
to SFG plus Critical Social Semiotics. The teachers are myself and
Peter White adds (2002): At the post-graduate level: The 'Text
Research Group' at Birmingham provides a forum for post-graduates and
to explore the application of SFL to various text/discourse analytical
issues and problems. Ph.D and M.Phil students currently working
within SFL are researching topics such as email list interactions,
English, the language of politics and various sub-types of journalistic
discourse. A larger number of post-grads make some use of SFL in their
At the undergraduate level: Functional Linguistics now constitutes a
substantial component of the curriculum of our specialist undergraduate
English language strand. (Birmingham Single Honours undergraduates can
now choose to do a degree which is half literature and half
while our Joint Honours students can choose an English language-only
Our undergraduate language specialists are introduced to SFL in their
year and it is taught as part of various second and third year courses.
Our second year students are introduced to the Appraisal framework in
"Mass Media Rhetoric" course.
Department of English
University of Birmingham
Westmere, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT
Phone: 44 (0) 121 414 7371/5696
Fax: 44 (0) 121 414 3238
MA courses, most of which include at least
one module of SFL.
Toolan's Literary Linguistics MA
home page with links to all post-grad courses,
literary and linguistics.
This centre, based within the Department of English, runs a variety of
postgraduate courses of interest to Systemics. This includes both
in-house and distance MAs in TEFL/TESL, Translation Studies and Applied
Linguistics. In-house MAs coder linguistics and lexicography, corpus
studies, and critical discourse. A Ph.D. programme is also offered.
School of Education
Sheena Gardner (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sheena is available to supervise doctorates in the area of Educational
Linguistics: Current interests in the use of language in
EAL/ESL/EFL classroom-based assessment across the curriculum, and
across genres (by discipline or year) in higher education (including
Centre for Language and Communication, in the School of English,
Commmunication and Philosophy
Dr. Lise Fontaine
Dr. Tom Bartlett
This was previously the department of Robin Fawcett and Gordon
although both have retired from teaching. Currently SFL teaching
continues with Lise
Fontaine and Tom Bartlett.
SFL courses taught in the department include:
Language - SE1375.
Currently taught by Lise Fontaine. This module presents a functional
model of linguistic description - Systemic Functional
Linguistics. We explore the effects and consequences of particular
lexical and grammatical choices
on the creation of meaning in a wide range of spoken and written texts,
with the aim of better
understanding both the meaning potential available to speakers and how
particular choices in meaning
are associated with different texts. Currently offered in the second
semester but this is subject to change.
- Language Description - SET003.
Currently taught by Tom Bartlett.
This module introduces students to functional grammar, and in
particular Systemic Functional
Grammar. The course will provide an overview of the main grammatical
systems of English, such as
transitivity, mood and theme, together with a functional description of
grammatical units such as
the clause and the nominal group. The focus of the module will be on
grammar as a resource for
meaning and how a functional description can be used to analyse the
meanings that English speakers
make in texts. The use of electronic language corpora (databases) will
also be introduced.
Communication - SE1342
Currently taught by Lise Fontaine.
This module explores all forms of Computer Mediated Communication (CMC)
from the perspective of
text analysis and multimodality. CMC refers to any human-to-human
communication that is mediated by
a computer. We will focus especially on Internet-based discourse,
including e-mail messages,
discussion lists, chat, Web pages, and virtual communities. We will
investigate the nature of CMC as
a Mode of Discourse, the way CMC uses a range of semiotic and
linguistic resources, and the relation
between text, meaning and technology in CMC.
Currently offered in the second semester but this is subject to change.
- Lise Fontaine (from 2008): Topics: (systemic functional)
grammar, referring expressions, personal reference, the role of
choice in language production, keyboard/electronic language
- Tom Bartlett: Topics: (systemic functional) grammar, modality,
genre and register, social and psychological
modelling of language systems, SFL and CDA
Dr Lise Fontaine
Centre for Language and Communication
School of English Studies,Communication and Philosophy
University of East Anglia, Norwich
School of Language, Linguistics and Translation Studies
Description: William Downes uses Halliday's functional grammar in
undergraduate unit, Modern English Language, and teaches his own
notion of social semiotics in an interdisciplinary MA unit:
`Linguistics and Culture and Communication'.
For info contact, Barbara Betts, Admissions Office, email@example.com
University of Kent at Canterbury
Robert Veltman (R.Veltman@ukc.ac.uk)
Description: SFG is rather important in the Linguistics
English Language courses at u/g & p/g levels.
Linguistics and English Language
Norman Fairclough (Emeritus professor, retired)
A major centre for Critical Discourse Analysis.
Prof. Tony Hartley
Dr. Serge Sharoff
Little explicit teaching of SFL, but both Tony and Serge are
to supervise doctoral students in SFL applications to translation.
Serge specialises in corpus analysis, translation, lexicography,
Department of Linguistics
Bethan is available for the supervision of doctoral students in areas
University of Liverpool
School of English
Prof Michael Hoey (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Dr Michaela Mahlberg (email@example.com)
Dr Mike Scott (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Mr Geoff Thompson (email@example.com)
SFL informs a great deal of
our teaching at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. The most
examples are the Semester 1 (September – December) module on Functional
on our MA in TESOL (http://www.liv.ac.uk/english/ma_courses/post_ma_tesol.htm)
and MA in Applied Linguistics (http://www.liv.ac.uk/english/ma_courses/post_ma_appling.htm),
and the Semester 2 (January – May) module Grammar in Discourse on our
undergraduate programme; but many of our other modules dealing with
analysis, Critical Discourse Analysis and Corpus Linguistics draw on
The research of a number of
our current and former PhD students is SFL-inspired: Theme and the
interpersonal metafunction have been particular areas of interest,
with information structure and cohesion, and with occasional forays
transitivity. Every year a good proportion of our MA students do their
dissertations on Functional Grammar, usually oriented towards text
(including the transitivity of medical and political texts, the
of women in different periods of the 20th century, interpersonal
tourist brochures, adverts, and bank leaflets, and appraisal in
Geoff Thompson (who teaches
the Grammar modules mentioned above) is the only card-carrying SFLer
us; but the others listed above are at the least fellow-travellers and
use - or
react to - SFG in various ways. It was the commonality of interest
colleagues working in a range of different areas which enabled us to
the 1998 Euro-International Systemic Functional Workshop and the 2002
International Systemic Functional Congress.
School of English
University of Liverpool
Liverpool L69 7ZR
tel +44 151 794 2771
fax +44 151 794 2739
University of Luton
Jon Mills (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Description: Systemic Functional Grammar is taught on the BA
and BA Modern English Studies courses. 025 Fax: +44 (0)1582 489014
University of Nottingham
Ron Carter (Head of Dept.)
Some Systemic-Functional teaching still going on, although
retired, Hillary Hillier has moved to the Open University.
The Open University, Milton Keynes
Staff who work with SFL (to a greater or lesser extent) are currently located in the
Applied Languages and Literacies Group where further information can be obtained about the centres
and the expertise of each staff member regarding postgraduate supervision.
EdD and PhD supervision are both available. Click here for details.
SFL informs some of the Open University's English Language distance teaching at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. The courses detailed below form part of OU undergraduate degrees in English Language and Literature and Modern Language Studies and MA Education (Applied Linguistics). However, they can also be taken as part of a diploma or as free standing modules.
There is some freely accessible material available here.
In the Open University system an undergraduate degree consists of 6 courses (or the equivalent of 360 credit points) and a postgraduate degree 3 courses (each worth 60 credit points). Therefore each 60 credit course is quite sizeable and equivalent to a year's part time study. All Open University courses are available for study in the UK, the Republic of Ireland, Switzerland and countries belonging to the European Union. The MA courses (with electronic tutoring) are available globally. Information regarding content and course dates are available by clicking on the links below.
The Open University
Stirling University, Scotland
Department of English Studies
For details of course, please see: http://www.stir.ac.uk/english/undergradunits/language/units/.
Postgraduate supervision of SFL-oriented theses is done.
University of Warwick
Centre for English Language Teacher
NOTE: The following was true in 2004, may be out of date given
that Meriel Bloor, Sheena Gardner and Hilary Nesi have moved elsewhere.
However, Meriel says (Sept 2007) that "there is still linguistics (both
grammar focused and text/discourse focused) on their course
descriptions and this will be SFL oriented"
At undergraduate level, there is a four
B.Ed. honours degree in TESOL. This includes four years of linguistic
of which the final year is SFL
The following post graduate degrees include a 30 contact hour
entitled Grammar of English (largely SFL and its applications)
a 30 hour module in Text and Discourse Analysis (from an SFL
There is also a 30 contact hour Option called The Use of English:
Research Issues, which incorporates Critical Linguistics and Corpus
Short courses and one term Certificate courses incorporating SFL are
- MA in English as a Foreign Language (for teachers)
- MA in English for Specific Purposes (for teachers)
- MA in Teaching English to Young Learners
- MA in English Language Studies