The contribution of Halliday to EAP writing instruction: A personal journey

Olwyn Alexander

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
168 Downloads (Pure)


Halliday's work on the texture of texts and thematic structure is fundamental in enabling EAP students to follow the advice often given by lecturers to ‘write clearly and logically’. An understanding of thematic structure can equip students with the tools to construct paragraphs that communicate their own ideas in ways that are easy to read. This approach takes students beyond topic sentences and discourse markers to a more nuanced presentation of their arguments. In this researching EAP practice paper, I will trace the coverage of Theme and thematic structure in the research literature, in handbooks for teachers and in coursebooks for students, which influenced my own use of these concepts. I will show how these concepts were incorporated into teaching materials to help EAP students write effective paragraphs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100769
JournalJournal of English for Academic Purposes
Early online date10 Jul 2019
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2019


  • Low proficiency learners
  • Paragraph writing
  • Thematic structure
  • Theme

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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