Why Learning About Grammar is Learning about CHOICE

A Functional Grammar Guide for Writers - Derek Irwin

Derek Irwin [+-]
University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus
View Website
Derek Irwin is the Head of School for the founding of the School of English at the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus. He completed his BA (Hon) in Theatre and Literature at the University of Guelph, his MA in English Literature at York University, and his PhD specializing in Canadian Literature and Textual Analysis at York University, Canada. He spent eight years as an ESL instructor in various locations before turning to systemic functional linguistics as a framework for language inquiry. He was a grammar and writing instructor at York University, and a founding faculty member of Lakehead University's Orillia campus, before joining the University of Nottingham, first at the Ningbo China campus and then on to Malaysia. He supervises PhD students in several areas, including second-language pedagogy, genre and text analysis, language modelling, language contact, identity and culture. His most recent critical work focuses on grammatical resources for lexical movement across languages, literary textual analysis, and writing for post-secondary students.
Viktoria Jovanovic-Krstic [+-]
University of Toronto
Viktoria Jovanovic-Krstic is a sessional faculty member at the University of Toronto and a faculty member at Humber Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning in Toronto, Canada. Dr. Jovanovic-Krstic teaches for the Writing and Rhetoric Program and The Faculty of Applied Arts and Science respectively. Her research interests are located in Appraisal Analysis, Business Communications and writing and rhetoric. She teaches courses in writing, rhetoric, and communications. She has published in the areas of war discourse, writing pedagogy, and reading and writing theory


The introduction is designed to theoretically orient the reader in terms of why learning about grammar is meant to be empowering, not baffling. The book takes the approach that the knowledge of grammar is the knowledge of language resources, and while speakers of English have a grasp of one set of resources, students need a new set of grammatical understanding for the creation of acceptable academic texts. In order to move into this understanding, we will first bring the reader up-to-date on what other writers typically have meant with the use of grammatical terms (traditional grammatical approaches). We will then introduce our fundamental approach, that of systemic functional grammar (SFG), albeit informed by another writing tradition, that of prescriptive grammar. The major approaches of SFG will be explained along with the strands which are most relevant to student writing. Finally, we bring the discussion into the “rules” of grammar, presenting readers with easy-to-understand explanations of which types of writing they should choose in which situations, depending on such matters as audience, genre, and rhetorical goals.

Notify A Colleague


Irwin, Derek; Jovanovic-Krstic, Viktoria. Why Learning About Grammar is Learning about CHOICE. A Functional Grammar Guide for Writers. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. Jan 2023. ISBN 9781781792469. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=26421. Date accessed: 27 Sep 2021 doi: 10.1558/equinox.26421. Jan 2023

Dublin Core Metadata