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Volume 10 (1); March 15, 2021

Research Paper

A Systemic Functional Linguistics Analysis of Technical Written Texts Produced by Undergraduate Saudi Engineering Students

Mohammed Al Otaibe

Int. J. Appl. Ling. Stud., 10(1): 01-10, 2021; pii:S232251222000001-10



Implementing systemic functional linguistics, in particular Theme-Rheme system as a method of teaching writing has been recommended and suggested in many studies The present small-scale paper aimed to analyze 7 texts produced by Saudi engineering students and found that six students faced problems in developing their paragraphs. Results indicate that all the students mainly used unmarked topical Themes. Four students utilized marked topical Themes with differences in terms of the number of uses. Six students used textual Themes in their texts, while three students employed interpersonal Themes in their texts. Moreover, the analysis revealed many problems committed by students. These were: the problem of confusing selection textual Themes, the problem of brand new Theme, the problem of empty Rheme, and the problem of using cohesive devices inappropriately. There was one student could develop his text consistently and cohesively. To sum up, the paper was carried out for shedding light on the problems of Saudi engineering students when writing in English; even though the data was small, bringing the notion of Theme-Rheme into/to the light can be useful for instructors to put the basic principles of Theme-Rheme into practice when teaching writing.

Keywords: SFL, technical writing, engineering students   

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