Social Practice and Register: Language as a Means of Learning
Education is the socialisation of learners into the social practices of the community. Language is the major means of this socialisation. For learners learning through the medium of their second language (L2), such language socialisation is often problematic, particularly with respect to the development of academic discourse and academic achievement. This chapter will show how a systemic functional linguistics approach based on register illuminates how language functions as a means of learning and of assessment in the social practices of schooling of L2 learners, and how register provides tools to trace learning as a continuous dialectic between system and process, theory and practice. It will use four case studies to illustrate these themes in depth with discourse data.