Exploring the Interaction of EFL Student Writers with SFL-based Teaching and Teacher-written Feedback
This case study explored how student writers interact with teaching based on systemic functional linguistics (SFL) and with teacher-written feedback. The data used in the study consisted of English-as-a-foreign-language (EFL) students’ interviews, written documents, and teacher-written feedback collected at a Chinese university writing classroom over one academic year. The qualitative analysis of the study data showed that through the instruction of SFL, the students came to understand and practice writing as a meaning-making process although their understanding and practice of such were constrained by diverse factors (e.g., the difficulty of the new knowledge and genre-specific demands). More importantly, the SFL-based teacher-written feedback gradually helped enhance the students’ understanding of SFL’s meaning making as well as their follow-up management of contextually appropriate language resources in refining their written compositions. The study concluded that despite the challenges involved, integrating SFL-based teaching with teacher-written feedback seemed to help the students in the study re-conceptualize their writing and navigate writing effectively as a meaning-making process.