Publication details [#263]

O'Dowd, Elizabeth. 2012. The development of linguistic complexity: A functional continuum. Language Teaching 45 (3) : 329–346. 18 pp.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Place, Publisher
Cambridge University Press


In this article, an on-going project about students’ academic progress is presented. The aim of the project is to provide tools for teachers, so that they can identify the standards and needs of their students, in terms of writing. The author shows how Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL) can be used, since it specifies how grammatical choices actually construct meaning, making a strong case for explicit, proactive instruction. In the project, a developmental continuum of complexity for school-age English learners is charted. Hereby, focus is put on what students CAN do, rather on what they cannot.