A multimodal discourse analysis of international postgraduate business students’ finance texts: an investigation of theme and information value

Journal Article
(MDA), Business discourse; finance discourse; composition of information value; thematic progression; systemic functional linguistic (SFL); multimodal discourse analysis . 2015
Publication Work Type: 
Research paper
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Publication Abstract: 

Thematic progression patterning and the composition of information value facilitate the development of well-structured
messages. The text-based research of systemic functional linguistics (SFL) into textual features has been confined to
language learning and workplace contexts. Empirical research studies involving finance have investigated students’ performance in finance courses and the effects of class attendance on their performance. However, no published studies have yet explored or analysed the textual features of tertiary finance texts. This study investigated the Theme and information value in 6 group assignments in finance, written by 19 Master’s students in accounting. Underpinned by Halliday’s SFL and Kress and van Leeuwen’s system of the composition of information value, this study employed a systemic functional multimodal discourse analysis (SF-MDA) of the texts. The SF-MDA revealed a high frequency of Theme reiteration patterns, the rare occurrence of a linear Theme pattern, and the minimal use of a multiple-Theme
pattern. These findings have both theoretical and pedagogical implications for the teaching and learning of writing, particularly in the context of teaching English for business purposes.

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