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SFL in L2 Writing Teacher Education: A Case Study of an EFL Pre-service Teacher in Conceptualizing Grammar

Abstract SFL in L2 Writing Teacher Education: A Case STUDY of an EFL PRE-SERVICE Teacher IN CONCEPTUALIZING GRAMMAR English education globally has been challenged by an increasing need for academic English practices to support access to content area knowledge and scholarly exchanges. However, EFL (English as a Foreign Language) teachers often lack the linguistic and pedagogical knowledge of how academic texts work to construct meanings in specific disciplines and how to design effective academic literacy instruction accessible to all students. This study, therefore, is aimed at responding to the intensifying demand for academic literacy instruction in international contexts by investigating an EFL teacher’s participation in MATESOL program in North America informed in part by Halliday’s SFL (Systemic Functional Linguistics) and Martin’s genre theory. The study focuses on exploring how this teacher’s conceptions of grammar shifted, if at all, over the courses in the teacher education program and how the teacher’s classroom practice during the first year in her career reflect, if at all, the perspective of language learning. This study is informed by two main conceptions as the theoretical frameworks. First, Halliday and Martin’s social conception of language and language learning serves as the theoretical basis informing the pedagogical knowledge that the teacher develops. Second, a sociocultural approach to teachers’ knowledge development serves as a framework to understand how the teacher conceptualizes a more functional conception of language and language learning for academic literacy instruction in a sustained process of teacher learning with respect to the teacher’s whole lived experiences. This study uses an ethnographic method of data collection and analysis. The data were collected from multiple sources including field notes, instructional materials, audio tapes, email exchanges, interviews, textbooks, and course assignments. Data collection focused on documenting this teacher in conceptualizing of grammar over her participation in the teacher education program and over one year of teaching experience upon completion of her MATESOL program. In analyzing these data, this study involved coding and categorizing processes to generate patterns of themes with reference to the research questions. This study is expected to contribute to an effort of preparing teachers with the expertise of teaching academic literacy and development in international contexts by considering how local contexts shape their pedagogical knowledge development.