The Asia-Pacific Education Researcher

, Volume 27, Issue 6, pp 465–475 | Cite as

Diluting Minority Students’ Marginalization in the Mainstream College English Writing Classroom Through Functional Linguistic Praxis: A Case Report From China

  • Xiaodong ZhangEmail author
Regular Article


This study investigates how systemic functional linguistics (SFL)-based teaching impacted on the adjustment of Chinese minority students to the discourse of academic English writing. Through qualitative analyses of one Chinese college ethnic minority student’s interviews, reflections, written documents, and conversations, the study shows that instruction from an SFL perspective in and out of class enabled her to re-conceptualize the valued linguistic features of academic English writing and effectively engage in academic literacy, which helped her to reposition herself as an English language writer in the mainstream college classroom. The study concludes that when effective instruction is provided on features of academic English writing, minority students can adjust to mainstream teaching, meeting the demands of complex academic English writing and reconstructing their identities in challenging social–cultural contexts.


Minority students Transition Academic success Privileged language variety Linguistic knowledge 



The study was sponsored by MOE (Ministry of Education in China) key project of humanities and social sciences (16JJD740002).


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Copyright information

© De La Salle University 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of English and International StudiesBeijing Foreign Studies UniversityBeijingChina

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