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Taylor & Francis
Teaching and Researching ELLs' Disciplinary Literacies: Systemic Functional Linguistics in Action in the Context of U.S. School Reform / Edition 1

Teaching and Researching ELLs' Disciplinary Literacies: Systemic Functional Linguistics in Action in the Context of U.S. School Reform / Edition 1

by Meg Gebhard
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Written from a critical perspective, this volume provides teachers, teacher educators, and classroom researchers with a conceptual framework and practical methods for teaching and researching the disciplinary literacy development of English language learners (ELLs). Grounded in a nuanced critique of current social, economic, and political changes shaping public education, Gebhard offers a comprehensive framework for designing curriculum, instruction, and assessments that build on students’ linguistic and cultural resources and that are aligned with high-stakes state and national standards using the tools of systemic functional linguistics (SFL). By providing concrete examples of how teachers have used SFL in their work with students in urban schools, this book provides pre-service and in-service teachers, as well as literacy researchers and policy makers, with new insights into how they can support the disciplinary literacy development of ELLs and the professional practices of their teachers in the context of current school reforms. Key features of this book include the voices of teachers, examples of curriculum, sample analyses of student writing, and guiding questions to support readers in conducting action-oriented research in the schools where they work.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781138090903
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Publication date: 03/03/2019
Series: Language, Culture, and Teaching Series
Pages: 298
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Meg Gebhard is Professor of Applied Linguistics and co-director of the Secondary English Education Program at University of Massachusetts, Amherst, USA.

Table of Contents




1 Teaching and researching ELLs’ disciplinary literacy development in hard times: A critical perspective

Rationale: The making of a "perfect storm"

My literacy biography: Learning (and not learning) to become a critical reader, writer, and thinker

A critical approach to understanding language, learning, and social change in U.S. public schools

Overview of chapters


2 Celine’s questions: Race, immigration, and literacy development in schools

Celine’s literacy practices: A case study

Crossing linguistic, cultural, and institutional boundaries in schools

Text/context dynamics

Celine’s educational background

Mr. Banks’ feedback

Rethinking the word "grammar" from an SFL perspective



3 Skinner, Chomsky, and Halliday: Shifting conceptions of grammar and language learning

Skinner: A behavioral perspective

Chomsky: A psycholinguistic perspective

Halliday: A social semiotic perspective

Summary and critique of different perspectives of grammar and approaches to language teaching and learning in schools


4 Genres, registers, and the teaching and learning cycle

Text/context dynamics: Analyzing email requests sent to a professor

SFL, genres, and registers

SFL in action: The teaching and learning cycle in K-12 schools

The teaching and learning cycle and Martin’s genre theory

SFL, genre theory, and the TLC in the context of U.S. school reforms

ACCELA’s approach to the TLC



5 Registers: Critically analyzing field, tenor, and mode choices

Field: Constructing content, ideas, and experiences

Tenor: Constructing voice, social roles, and power dynamics

Mode: Managing the flow of information



6 Policies and practices to support ELLs’ disciplinary literacy development: A civil rights perspective

Twenty-first century demographic changes in U.S. public schools

Students’ civil rights and approaches to language education

K-12 ESL program types

The WIDA Consortium



7 Shifting conceptions of equity: Standardization, accountability, and privatization in school reform

No Child Left Behind (NCLB)

English-only policies and anti-bilingual education ideologies

Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and the disciplinary literacy development of all students

Standardization and accountability in teacher evaluation



8 Placing the education of ELLs in a historic, economic, and political context

The growth of the modern school system: Two faces of the Progressive Era

The schooling of immigrants in the 20th century

The schooling of immigrants in the 21st century



9 Putting it all together: SFL in Action

Text/context dynamices in U.S. public schools: A review of key concepts

Teaching and researching ELLs' disciplinary literacy development at Milltown High

Implications for classroom practice and research



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