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The LinC Summer School in Systemic Functional Linguistics 

13 – 16 September 2010

Location: Cardiff University

LinC is the research network for Linguistics in Cardiff

We are pleased to announce the 1st LinC summer school in Systemic Functional Linguistics to be held at Cardiff University from September 14-16 inclusive, 2010, with welcome and registration taking place on September 13th.   The summer school will also include a Poster Session (see below for more information).


Michael Halliday, Ruqaiya Hasan, Sydney Lamb, Geoff Thompson, Mick O’Donnell, Robin Fawcett, Gordon Tucker, Paul Tench, Lise Fontaine, Tom Bartlett, Gerard O’Grady

About the summer school

Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL) is an increasingly popular framework for understanding and analysing language in use.  At the very foundation of SFL is the view of language as a social function.  As Halliday states, “the internal organization of language is not arbitrary but embodies a positive reflection of the functions that language has evolved to serve in the life of social man” (1970:26).   The functions of language include both the functions that language serves (i.e. how people use language) and linguistic functions (i.e. the grammatical and semantic roles assigned to parts of language). It is this focus on the functions of language that has led to the successful application of SFL in areas such as language teaching, literacy, computational approaches to language, counselling, research in language and communication and many more.  The goal of the summer school is to offer research training in both understanding the SFL theory of language and applying it to real-world challenges.

The summer school will run two parallel courses; one at an introductory level and one at an advanced level.  Participants should apply to one or the other depending on their previous experience. Both courses are suitable for professionals and students who have an interest in learning more about Systemic Functional Linguistics and its applications. 

The introductory level will cover a basic introduction to Systemic Functional Linguistics, including coverage of the main or core concepts, and it will teach participants how to analyse language using the framework.  The focus will be equally spread between lectures and hands-on practical analysis.  No prior experience is needed for this program.  This course will be appropriate for both professionals who feel an understanding of SFL and/or language description would be an asset in their work and students who are considering study or research using the Systemic Functional Linguistics.

The advanced level is intended for those who already have some experience with Systemic Functional Linguistics and who want to further their knowledge and experience.  The main goal of the course in this level is to consider more challenging areas of language description and use with a focus on real-world applications (e.g. language teaching, education, literacy).  This course would be appropriate for those with some experience in Systemic Functional Linguistics such as professionals (e.g. language teachers, educators, computational linguists, psychologists) and PhD students.   The advanced course will offer researchers training in a range of analytical methods and tools to enhance qualitative research in areas related to language and communication.


Outline of the Programme

Special lectures by Professor Michael Halliday, Professor Ruqaiya Hasan, and Professor Sydney Lamb will be open to all participants.  There will also be some flexibility across the two courses.

Introductory Course

  • the functions of language: linguistic representations of personal experience (experiential functions); interaction through language (interpersonal functions); language as text (textual functions)
  • how to analyse the clause in a multi-functional framework
  • spoken language: introducing to phonology and intonation
  • introduction to relevant software for analysing language (e.g. UAM CorpusTool, PRAAT)

Advanced Course

  • Corpus Linguistics within Systemic Functional Linguistics
  • Advanced applications using the UAM CorpusTool
  • Advanced topics in the sounds of language
  • Advanced topics in the multi-functional analysis of the clause
  • Advanced workshops in analysing discourse
  • Workshops with hands-on experience in specific applications of SFL