Spring 2-5-2016



Degree Name


Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair

Bonnie Swierzbin

Secondary Advisor/Reader One

Feride Erku

Peer-Reviewer/Reader Two

Courtney Connelly


The research question addressed in this capstone project was; how can a curriculum, rooted in the experiential metafunction of functional language analysis, be developed to help secondary English language learners gain academic language needed in a language arts classroom? It looks at the struggle high school ELLs face because of the academic language used in content classes. It also looks at the components of functional language analysis and how they can be used to teach the academic language needed for student success. The author utilized the work of Christie, F. (2012), Fang, Z., & Schleppegrell, M. J. (2008), and Martin, J. R., & Rose, D. (2007) to create a unit curriculum focused on the experiential meaning of a short novel. The curriculum instructs learners on how to identify the process, participant, and circumstance and analyze how the choice of language affects the meaning. The author concludes that implementing a functional language approach is beneficial to student comprehension of academic language and can be used in all content areas.

Research Methodology

Curriculum Development


Curriculum, ESL/ ELLs, Literacy, Reading

Included in

Education Commons