1st Edition

Functional Grammatics
Re-conceptualizing Knowledge about Language and Image for School English

ISBN 9781138948051
Published October 3, 2017 by Routledge
300 Pages 51 B/W Illustrations

USD $46.95

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Book Description

This book provides a re-conceptualization of grammar in a period of change in the communication landscape and widening disciplinary knowledge. Drawing on resources in systemic functional linguistics, the book envisions a ‘functional grammatics’ relevant to disciplinary domains such as literary study, rhetoric and multimodality. It re-imagines the possibilities of grammar for school English through Halliday’s notion of grammatics. 

Functional Grammatics is founded on decades of research inspired by systemic functional linguistics, and includes studies of grammatical tools useful to teachers of English, research into visual and multimodal literacies and studies of the genre–grammar connection. It aims to be useful to the interpretation and composition of texts in school English, portable in design across texts and contexts and beneficial for language development. 

The book will be of interest to researchers and teacher educators, as well as undergraduate and postgraduate students and practicing teachers committed to evidence-based professional development.

Table of Contents

1. Negotiating the territory of English through functional grammatics  2. Developing a grammatics for narrative  3. Looking closely at resources for meaning in narrative  4. Teaching narrative in primary and secondary classrooms  5. Building knowledge about language and image in persuasive texts  6. Looking closely at resources for meaning in persuasion  7. Teaching persuasion in primary and secondary classrooms  8. Tracking east – exploring narratives of many kinds (and modes)  9. Envoi

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Mary Macken-Horarik is a Senior Research Fellow in the Learning Sciences Institute Australia (LSIA) at the Australian Catholic University, Australia.

Kristina Love is a Professor of Education at the Australian Catholic University, Australia. 

Carmel Sandiford is a Lecturer in Language and Literacy Education at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education, The University of Melbourne, Australia.

Len Unsworth is Professor in English and Literacies Education at the Learning Sciences Institute Australia (LSIA) at the Australian Catholic University, Australia.


"Vibrant, practical, research informed - this book will have a home on the shelves of educational linguists and classroom teachers alike. It will be the ‘go to’ resource for creative teachers who want to inspire and enthuse young learners about the rich versatility of language as a meaning-making resource."

- Debra Myhill, Professor of Education, University of Exeter, and Director of the Centre for Research in Writing

"A grammatics of the kind persued in his volume offers a great deal to teachers looking for a rewarding and productive model of English language for teahing purposes. I recommend it to everyone interested in teaching English well... Macken-Horarik, Love, Sandiford and Unsworth have made a valuable contribution to English education and to appliable linguistics."

- Frances Christie, Language, Context and Text