Using systemic functional grammar in the media classroom: Increasing students’ ability to produce and analyse media texts

Jenny Clarence-Fincham


This article explores the use of Systemic Functional Grammar in a module for University students entitled Analysing Media Texts. This module aims at assisting  students to produce their own texts and to help them develop an understanding of the linguistic choices they make. Students are introduced to the key principles of CDA and to Halliday’s SFG to provide them with tools to assist them to understand the social and constructed nature of discourses, especially those typically found in media texts. This article follows on (Clarence-Fincham 2000), which focuses on students’ interpretation of media texts, their ability to read with greater understanding and to apply key concepts that they had learnt to their analyses.  The students demonstrated clearly that they had developed an understanding of  CDA, acquired  the basic metalanguage necessary for Hallidayan analysis and some of them could produce much more rigorous textual analyses than before. This article focuses on the engagement and high level of motivation students showed when asked to produce their own texts. Examples of the texts are given of texts produced and analysed by the students. Students reported that choosing and constructing their own texts had been both beneficial and enjoyable. However, students were able to produce fine-tuned linguistic analysis in the time allotted – some of them still resorted to extremely mechanistic analyses which took no explicit account of the purpose or function of the language and still less of the significance of the linguistic choices made.

Full Text:




  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c)

ISSN 2224-0012 (online); ISSN 0259-2312 (print)

Powered by OJS and hosted by since 2011.


This journal is hosted by the SU LIS on request of the journal owner/editor. The SU LIS takes no responsibility for the content published within this journal, and disclaim all liability arising out of the use of or inability to use the information contained herein. We assume no responsibility, and shall not be liable for any breaches of agreement with other publishers/hosts.

SUNJournals Help