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Exploring the processes of reading about science textbooks from the perspective of Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL) – Case study of the topic of pulmonary circulation
Systemic Functional Linguistics
This study investigated how students interpreted the representational structures of images and the the relationships between images and texts during the process of scientific texts reading from the perspective of Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL). Nighty four seventh grade students who had finished the program of blood circulation were selected as participants of this study. All participants filled out questionnaire developed by the researcher. In addition, all participants were separated into high, middle and low groups based on the scores of science in mid-term exam. Then six participants were chosen randomly from each group to take the one-to-one and semi-structural interview. Content analysis was used to analize the content of images. The foci of data analization were on two aspects. One was the frequencies of all kinds of interpretations about the representational structures through image reading. And the other was the frequencies of connections between text segregations and representational structures of texts. First, the results showed that the image reading was affected by the complexity of representational structures. The analytical process of conceptual representations was more conherent for those with text-attribute. But on the contrary, the analytical process was much more related with the participants’ prior knowledge for those without text-attribute. Most of the processes of actions were directional narration in narrative structures reading. Furthermore, the interpretations competed with each other for the one composed of narrative and conceptual structures. Second, the relation between image and word was built up by the meaning of “carrier” in conceptual representation. Moreover, the interpretations for complete sentence and representational structures were more likely in the conceptual aspect. Instead, the interpretations for imcomplete sentence were close to those in the word segregation. Finally, implications for science education would be discussed as well.
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