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Text & Talk

An Interdisciplinary Journal of Language, Discourse & Communication Studies

Ed. by Sarangi, Srikant

IMPACT FACTOR 2018: 0.400
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CiteScore 2018: 0.61

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Volume 33, Issue 4-5


Using systemic functional linguistics to explore digital technologies in educational contexts

Caroline Coffin
Published Online: 2013-08-27 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/text-2013-0023


Over the last decade, technological innovation has led to new pedagogic sites, such as online discussion forums and virtual 3D worlds. In these sites students and teachers use language and other meaning-making resources to engage in educational argumentation. However, there have been few studies which have systematically explored the role of lexicogrammatical and other semiotic resources in the making of meaning in these contexts. This is because the main body of research underpinning claims around the affordances and limits of online argumentation is located within sociocognitive paradigms. By drawing on the tools of systemic functional linguistics and, where relevant, systemic functional-multimodal analysis, this article therefore offers a fresh perspective. I show how such tools can illuminate both the overarching textual shape and structure of online discussion forums and the ways in which meanings are made through language and other semiotic resources.

Keywords: online argumentation; systemic functional linguistics; multimodal meaning; digital technologies; educational context

About the article

Caroline Coffin

Caroline Coffin is Professor in English Language and Applied Linguistics at the Open University, UK. Since the early 1990s she has been using systemic functional linguistics to investigate disciplinary knowledge and discourse including computer-mediated dialogue and different forms of argumentation. Published books include Exploring Grammar (Routledge, 2009, with Donohue and North), Applied Linguistics Methods: A Reader (Routledge, 2009, with Lillis and O'Halloran), and Historical Discourse: The Language of Time, Cause and Evaluation (Continuum, 2006). Address for correspondence: Stuart Hall Building Level 2, The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA, UK 〈 〉.

Published Online: 2013-08-27

Published in Print: 2013-08-19

Citation Information: Text & Talk, Volume 33, Issue 4-5, Pages 497–522, ISSN (Online) 1860-7349, ISSN (Print) 1860-7330, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/text-2013-0023.

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©[2013] by Walter de Gruyter Berlin Boston.Get Permission

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