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Patterns of value: Systemic Functional Grammar and evaluation in texts

Diana Kilpert


In two recent articles in this journal (Kilpert, 2001a;b) I argued that ‘method of development', a concept from Systemic Functional Grammar (sfg, associated with M.A.K. Halliday), is useful for teaching tertiary students to write coherent paragraphs. This follow-up article develops a related topic, explaining how the management of the evaluative stance, an aspect of the interpersonal function of language, might be taught by linking it to the management of structure. I draw on the concept of phase (Gregory, 1988), and include some detail from appraisal theory (Martin, 2000a; White, 2001). I suggest that text analysis can make teachers aware of the expected patterns and ‘voice' of specific genres and provide a technical language for talking clearly about them. I argue that this knowledge is essential for properly informed language teaching and that approaching writing as a teachable skill rather than guesswork will give all students a fair chance, regardless of background.

(Journal for Language Teaching: 2002 36(3-4): 305-329)