Joseph A. Foley (ed.), Language, education and discourse: Functional approaches. London: Continuum, 2004. Pp. xii, 337. Hb. $150.00, Pb. $49.95.
Since it was developed by Michael Halliday more than 40 years ago, Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL) has become increasingly influential in discourse analytic and educational studies. Readers interested in this approach will find illustrations of the theory and its applications in this product of the International Systemic Functional Linguistics Association meeting in 1999 in Singapore. SFL, a theory of language that links meaning with form and describes language in terms of its role in social contexts, offers researchers interested in language in society theoretically grounded ways of focusing on the meaning-making resources of language. These SFL studies, in contexts that span the years of schooling and focus on a range of disciplinary contexts, including mathematics, history, science, and language arts, highlight the power of classroom discourse and the role of language in construing ideologies.