Educational Sciences: Theory & Practice

ISSN: 2630-5984

Supporting EFL Learners’ Reflective Practices through Systemic Functional Linguistic Praxis: A Longitudinal Case Study

Xiaodong Zhang
School of English and International Studies, Beijing Foreign Studies University, China


This study reports how teaching using a systemic functional linguistics (SFL)-based appraisal system impacted English-as- a-foreign-language (EFL) students’ reflective practices with text deconstruction and construction. Through qualitative content and discourse analyses of three focal EFL students’ reading and writing performance, interviews, and reflection journals collected from two writing classrooms (expository and argumentative writing) in a Chinese university over one academic year, this case study shows that students transformed into reflective learners who could understand and critically deconstruct and construct the relationships among context, interpersonal meaning, and linguistic resources in reading and writing, although their development proceeded in a tortuous process, with writing being slower than reading. Despite this complexity, the study illustrates the malleability of using an SFL-based appraisal system in guiding EFL students to be reflective learners.

Reflective practices, Appraisal system, Interpersonal meaning, EFL learning, Reading and writing.