n Journal for Language Teaching = Ijenali Yekufundzisa Lulwimi = Tydskrif vir Taalonderrig - A study of the implications of systemic linguistics in the teaching of English as a second language

Volume 42, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0259-9570



Linguists have proposed and discussed a number of theories about the nature and functions of language. As yet, there is no agreement on which theory best describes language and which theory should be accepted and applied in second language teaching situations. Linguistic institutions the world over adopt and apply definitions and theories they think are appropriate for developing applied linguistics courses. These are chosen from schools of linguistic theories such as systemic functional grammar, transformational generative grammar, descriptive grammar, comparative grammar and others. Conceptions on the relevance of each of these theories in the teaching of English as a second language vary from one speech community to the other. Kilpert (2001), Van Rooy and Butler (2000) suggest that systemic functional grammar (SFG) should be studied in second language situations where communicative competence, as an aspect of 'Outcomes Based Education', is desired. This article supports this view and proceeds to highlight selected features of SFG which the writer believes enhance the development of communicative competence in English as a second language.

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