By Mohsen Ghadessy (Ed.)

This article goals to envision the character of textual content and context, utilizing theoretical versions dependent within the framework of Systemic practical Linguistics (SFL).

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Joan was interested in a model of context that could be used with teachers to inform literacy teaching, and our collaboration with Christie led to the development of Australia’s distinctive genre-based literacy programs in primary and secondary schools, alongside adult ESL and tertiary EAP programs developed by colleagues trained in the same Applied Linguistics program (Christie 1992; Martin 1993a; Cope and Kalantzis 1993; Hasan and Williams 1996; Rothery 1996; Hyon 1996; Martin 1998). During the early 80s Joan and I worked closely with postgraduate students in the Department, most of whose concerns lay outside education (Suzanne Eggins, Chris Nesbitt, Guenter Plum, Lynn Poulton, Cate Poynton, Anne Thwaite and Eija Ventola); we met weekly over a period of two years, looking at ways of modelling a range of registers, including casual conversation (Eggins and Slade 1997), spoken narrative (Martin and Plum 1997) service encounters (Ventola 1987), doctor/patient consultations and so on.

Many years ago, when I was still a language teacher, teaching Chinese at Cambridge University in England, I used to teach a class of scientific Chinese to a group of Cambridge scientists. They wanted to read scientific texts written by Chinese scholars: one was a plant geneticist, interested in Chinese work on hybridization, one was a mathematician, one was a psychologist, and so on. Now, they had no interest in Chinese culture in the traditional sense of the term; it wasn’t necessary for me to teach them anything about Chinese history or family life, or about filial piety or other Confucian values.

Genre and Literacy — Modelling Context in Educational Linguistics”. Australian Review of Applied Linguistics, 13. Mohan, Bernard A. 1986. Language and Content. : Addison-Wesley. Polkinghorne, J. C. 1990. The Quantum World. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books. Robins, R. H. 1963. “General Linguistics in Great Britain 1930–1960”. , eds. Trends in Modern Linguistics. Utrecht: Spectrum. Whorf, Benjamin Lee. 1956. Language, Thought and Reality: Selected Essays, John B. Carroll, ed. , and New York: M. T. Press and Wiley.

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