Publication details [#11559]

Yuan, Ye. 2007. A cognitive-functional linguistic approach to EFL writing pedagogy. Hong Kong, Peoples' Republic of China. 279 pp.
Publication type
Ph.D dissertation
Publication language


Studies of ESL/EFL writing still lack a comprehensive theory that can accommodate all the major approaches to ESL/EFL writing, such as the process, the product, and the genre ones. None of these can claim to be able to solve all the problems independently in real ESL/EFL classrooms. The present approach takes combining all these paradigms in an organic way as a starting point and seeks a theoretical framework for it from the neighboring discipline, linguistics, especially cognitive linguistics (CL) and systemic functional grammar (SFG). The writing model that has been set up in Chapter 4 of this research has provided us with a detailed description of the writing processes. With this model we can address very specific writing issues, including those relevant to our experiment, such as how and where ideas and language related to conceptual metaphor (CM), image schemas (IS) and cognition-based grammar (CG) come into the writing processes, and how prewriting activities can provide help for the writers. In this research we have experimented on three classes of EFL college students, each trained on one of the three cognitive linguistic constructs just mentioned. After the respective training, each class was required to write a posttest essay applying the knowledge they had just learned. Chapter 6 we have analyzed the data both quantitatively and qualitatively. Though from the statistical results, some of the classes have not improved their mean scores significantly, our more dependable qualitative composition analyses using cognitive-functional-linguistic tools, did reveal that in general the students can understand the trained CL constructs and are able to apply the knowledge to their essays, which has caused the improvements of many of the posttests in terms of richness and depth of ideas, of textual organization, and of syntactic choices. The cognitive-functional-linguistic analytical tools introduced in Chapter 5 and applied mainly in Chapter 6 serve to strengthen the product concerns of our cognitive-functional-linguistic process writing framework. We want to claim that this research framework has not only integrated various writing approaches, but also the potential to accommodate other potential approaches, such as those with literary and stylistic concerns. (Dissertation Abstracts)