Term

Summer 8-10-2015

Capstone

Thesis

Degree Name

MAESL

Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair

Bonnie Swierzbin

Secondary Advisor/Reader One

Kathryn Heinze

Peer-Reviewer/Reader Two

Brett Ripley

Abstract

The research questions addressed in this project are, what genres and Theme progressions are common in the History Alive! text, and what linguistic resources make up Themes? The aim of this capstone was to inform the instruction of English learners when using a secondary level social studies text, by understanding how language is used in this genre. This research presents rationale for a text analysis using the Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL) approach, then utilizes this method to conduct an analysis guided by the research questions. The author discusses the findings, focusing on implications for learner comprehension and instruction. The author found that an SFL analysis resulted in a deeper level of textual understanding, identifying specific ways that language is used to make meaning in the social studies genre. This understanding can be used to tailor instructional and literacy strategies to address the specific demands and traits of the text.

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