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ERIC Number: EJ912194
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Dec
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0039-8322
Teacher Education in Changing Times: A Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL) Perspective
Gebhard, Meg
TESOL Quarterly: A Journal for Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages and of Standard English as a Second Dialect, v44 n4 p797-803 Dec 2010
Teachers' work is changing rapidly worldwide but is rarely a topic of sustained focus in the literature on teaching English as an additional language. Despite this lack of robust scholarly attention, ESL, bilingual, and content specialists working in primary, secondary, and tertiary contexts contend with the demands of changing demographics and educational policies. For example, in the United States, No Child Left Behind legislation has highlighted the need to provide English language learners (ELLs) with access to content-based instruction and to make schools, especially those serving economically struggling communities, accountable for addressing the education of nondominant students. These goals, while on the surface laudatory, have been undercut by a lack of attention to teachers' professional development and commitment to quality native-language instruction. Consequently, many teachers have had little or no preparation for providing the assistance that second language (L2) learners need to understand how academic language works in the types of texts they are routinely required to read and write in school. This lack of attention to how academic English works in disciplinary texts has contributed to the persistent achievement gap between majority and minority students, a gap that only widens as students enter high school (Enright, this issue). In response, as Enright makes clear, there are calls for greater attention to academic language development in literacy studies and teacher education. Therefore, this article describes how L2 literacy researchers and teacher educators in the United States are using Halliday's (1996, 2007) theory of systemic functional linguistics (SFL) to support ESL and content teachers in scaffolding disciplinary knowledge and explicitly teaching how academic English constructs disciplinary ways of knowing, doing, and being in school.
Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, Inc. 1925 Ballenger Avenue Suite 550, Alexandria, VA 22314. Tel: 888-547-3369; Tel: 703-836-0774; Fax: 703-836-7864; Fax: 703-836-6447; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A