Mandating teaching approaches stifles innovation: a case against

Luqman Baehaqi


The article discusses the primacy of Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL) in research and pedagogy on second language (L2) writing in Indonesia. Indonesian academics use SFL theory as a shell to value arguments and observations in the methodological literature of L2 writing, demonstrating how the theory transforms into an "instrument reliable for scaffolding thinking, for propelling knowledge and ideas forward" (Thomas, 2007, p. 44) in their research and practice. The hijacking of an educational researcher's thought process and methodology by a linguistic paradigm serves only to reinforce the researchers' lack of confidence in challenging the established and recognized paradigm. Numerous articles from reputable local publications were gathered and analyzed. The paper concludes that researchers working in Indonesiashould commit to conducting more thought experiments to learn and support critical refection over and above imitating “what has been". Reflection and consideration of interdisciplinary evidence help make a unique contribution to educational theory and practice.


Indonesian academics; innovation; interdisciplinary; L2 writing; Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL)

Full Text:


Article Metrics

Abstract view : 543 times | PDF view : 181 times


Agustien, H. I. R. (2006a). Genre-based approach and the 2004 English curriculum. In A Plenary Paper Presented at UPI National Seminar (Vol. 27). UPI Bandung, Indonesia.

Agustien, H. I. R. (2006b). Setting up new standards: a preview of Indonesia’s new competence-based curriculum (2004). TEFLIN Journal, 15(1), 1–13.

Agustien, H. I. R. (2016). Teaching English grammar in Asian contexts. Switzerland: Springer International Publishing.

Alazard, C., Astésano, C., & Billières, M. (2012). From prosodic skills to L2 reading proficiency: an experimental approach to L2 phonetics teaching methods. In M. G. Busà & A. Stella (Eds.), Methodological Perspectives on Second Language Prosody (pp. 55–59).

Arianto, M. A., Refnaldi, R., & Rosa, R. N. (2017). The systemic functional linguistics: the appropriate and inappropriate use of devices in students’ academic text. Lingua Didaktika: Jurnal Bahasa dan Pembelajaran Bahasa, 10(2), 127-140.

Aunurrahman, Hamied, F. A., & Emilia, E. (2017). Exploring the tertiary EFL students’ academic writing competencies. Indonesian Journal of Applied Linguistics, 7(1), 72–79.

Beck, I.L., McKeown, M.G. & Worthy, J. (1995). Giving a text voice can improve students’ understanding. Reading Research Quarterly, 20(2), 220-238.

Boomer, D. S. (1965). Hesitation and grammatical encoding. Language and Speech, 8(3), 148–158.

Boroditsky, L. (2011). How language shapes thought. Scientific American, 304(2), 62–65.

Bradford, A. (2007). Motivational orientations in under-researched FLL contexts: findings from Indonesia. RELC Journal, 38, 302-323.

Bruner, J. (1986) Actual minds: possible worlds. Boston, MA: Harvard University Press.

Bumela, L. (2020). Designing 21st century language learning scenario in Indonesia: a perspective from computer-assisted language learning. Indonesian Journal of Arabic Studies, 2(1), 1-30.

Butt, D., Fahey, R., Feez, S., Spinks, S. & Yallop, C. (2000). Using functional grammar: an explorer's guide (2nd ed.). Sydney: National Centre for English Language Teaching and Research Maguire University.

Caffarel, A., Martin, J. R., & Matthiessen, C. M. I. M. (2004). Language typology: a functional perspective. John Benjamins Publishing Company. Retrieved from

Cahyono, S. P. (2018). Teaching L2 writing through the use of Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL). Indonesian JELT: Indonesian Journal of English Language Teaching, 13(1), 53–72.

Cai, X., Lian, A., Puakpong, N., Shi, Y., Chen, H., Zeng, Y., … Mo, Y. (2021). Optimizing auditory input for foreign language learners through a verbotonal-based dichotic listening approach. Asian-Pacific Journal of Second and Foreign Language Education, 6(14).

Christie, F., & Derewianka, B. (2010). School discourse: learning to write across the years of schooling. London: A&C Black.

Cloonan, A. (2010). A multiliteracies perspective on the new literacies. In E. Baker (ed.), The New Literacies: Multiple Perspectives on Research and Practice (pp.61-87). The Guildford Press.

Cope, B., & Kalantzis, M. (2009). “Multiliteracies”: new literacies, new learning. Pedagogies: An International Journal, 4(3), 164–195.

Dewi, R. W. H. (2016). A Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL) analysis of exposition texts as teaching materials written by pre-service teachers. Journal of English and Education, 4(1), 73–91. Retrieved from

Droga, L., & Humphrey, S. (2003). Grammar and meaning: an introduction for primary teachers. New South Wales: Target Texts.

Eggins, S. (2010) An introduction to systemic functional grammar. London: Continuum.

Emilia, E. (2016). Analysis students’ critical thinking in writing a thesis using the transitivity system. Jurnal Ilmu Pendidikan, 17(2), 101–111.

Emilia, E., & Hamied, F. A. (2015). Systemic functional linguistic genre pedagogy (SFL GP) in a tertiary EFL writing context in indonesia. TEFLIN Journal - A Publication on the Teaching and Learning of English, 26(2), 155-182.

Fausey, C. M., Long, B. L., Inamori, A., & Boroditsky, L. (2010). Constructing agency: the role of language. Frontiers in Psychology, (OCT).

Fauziati, E. (2016). Systemic-functional linguistics and its implication in foreign language teaching. Paper presented in Seminar Nasional Kajian Bahasa dan Pengajarannya (KBSP) IV 2016, Surakarta, Indonesia.

Feez, S. (2002). Heritage and innovation in second language education. In A. M. Johns (Ed.), Genre in the classroom: Multiple perspectives (pp. 47–68). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Halliday, M. A. (1992). Language theory and translation practice. Campanotto Editore Udine.

Herrmann, C. S., Friederici, A. D., Oertel, U., Maess, B., Hahne, A., & Alter, K. (2003). The brain generates its own sentence melody: a gestalt phenomenon in speech perception. Brain and Language, 85(3), 396–401.

Hyland, K. (2003). Genre-based pedagogies: a social response to process. Journal of second language writing, 12(1), 17-29.

Hyland, K. (2007). Genre pedagogy: language, literacy and L2 writing instruction. Journal of second language writing, 16(3), 148-164.

Hyland, K. (2009). Teaching and researching writing (3rd ed.). Taylor and Francis Inc.

Informasiguru. (2016). Anies Baswedan dorong Linguistik Sistemik Fungsional di Indonesia [Anies Baswedan encourages Functional Systemic Linguistics in Indonesia]. Retrieved from

Joyce, H. D. S., & Feez, S. (2012). Text-based language and literacy education: programming and methodology. Phoenix Education.

Kalantzis, M., & Cope, B. (2010). The teacher as designer: pedagogy in the new media age. E-learning and Digital Media, 7(3), 200-222.

Keller, J. M. (1987). Strategies for stimulating the motivation to learn. Performance and instruction, 26(8), 1-7.

Kuswanto, I. (2015). The use of social media in genre-based approach: a case study to teach argumentative writing and critical thinking (S2 thesis), Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia, Bandung, Indonesia. Retrieved from

Latour, B. (2004). Whose cosmos, which cosmopolitics? comments on the peace terms of Ulrich Beck. Common knowledge, 10(3), 450-462.

Lengkanawati, N. S. (2004). How learners from different cultural backgrounds learn a foreign language. Asian EFL Journal, 6(1), 1-8.

Lestariningsih, F. E., Madya, S., & Nurkamto, J. (2020). Pedagogical problems encountered by teachers of English to computer science students in the Indonesian context. EduLite: Journal of English Education, Literature and Culture, 5(1), 1.

Lewis, J. M. (1999). Intonation in theory and practice, revisited. TESOL quarterly, 33(1), 37-63.

Lian, A.-B. & Norman, A. (2007). Dialogic, evidence-based framework for integrating technology into school curricula. In A. B. Lian, P. Kell, P. Black, & K. Y. Lie (Eds.), Challenges in Global Learning: Dealing with Education Issues from an International Perspective (pp. 314-349). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Lian, A.-B. & Pertiwi, W. H. S. (2017). Theorising for innovation: implications for English language teacher education. GEMA Online Journal of Language Studies, 17(3), 1–17.

Lian, A.-B. (2008). Making our learning environments interactive: a critique of the concept of interaction in second language acquisition studies. In M. Mantero, P. C. Miller, & J. Watzke (Eds.), Readings in Language Studies, Volume 1: Language Across Disciplinary Boundaries (pp. 333-350). New York: International Society for Language Studies.

Lian, A.-B. (2014). " New Learning" and CALL: a DIY paradigm. Asia CALL Online Journal, 9, 14-26.

Lian, A.-B. (2017). Reading for emotion with ICT tools. In Proceedings of the 25th International Conference on Computers in Education, ICCE 2017 - Main Conference Proceedings (pp. 874–883). Christchurch: Asia-Pacific Society for Computers in Education. Retrieved from

Lian, A.-B. (2018). Differentiated learning and evidence from neuroscience: some implications for computer-assisted language-learning (CALL) pedagogies. Văn Hiến University of Journal of Science, 6(1), 5-16.

Lian, A.-P. (1980). Intonation patterns of French. teacher’s book. Melbourne, River Seine.

Lian, A.-P. (2000). From first principles: constructing language learning and teaching environments. In Selected papers from the ninth international symposium on English teaching (pp. 49-62). Taipei: Crane Publishing Co., Ltd. Retrieved from

Lian, A.-P. (2004). Technology-enhanced language-learning environments: a rhizomatic approach. In J.-B. Son (Ed.), Computer-Assisted Language Learning: Concepts, Contexts and Practices (pp. 1–20). New York, NY: iUniverse.

Lian, A.-P. (2011). Reflections on language learning in the 21st century: the rhizome at work. Rangsit Journal of Arts and Sciences, 1(1), 3–15. Retrieved from

Lie, A. (2004). Pengajaran bahasa asing: antara sekolah dan kursus [Foreign language teaching: between school and course]. Retrieved from cetak/0407/08/PendIN/1129942.html

Macken-Horarik, M. (2002). Something to shoot for: a systemic functional approach to teaching genre in secondary schools. In A. M. Johns (Ed.), Genre in the Classroom: Multiple Perspectives (1st ed.) (pp. 17-42). Lawrence Earlbaum Associates.

Malva, L., Leijen, Ä., & Baucal, A. (2020). Towards measuring teachers’ general pedagogical knowledge – a mixed method investigation of a pilot test. Studies in Educational Evaluation, 64, 100815.

Marcellino, M. (2015). English language teaching in Indonesia: a continuous challenge in education and cultural diversity. TEFLIN Journal, 19(1), 57-69.

Martin, J. R. (2009). Genre and language learning: a social semiotic perspective. Linguistics and education, 20(1), 10-21.

Martin, J. R., & Rose, D. (2008). Genre relations: mapping culture. London: Equinox.

McPeck, J. E. (1990). Critical thinking and subject specificity: a reply to Ennis. Educational researcher, 19(4), 10-12.

Minsky, M. (1981). Music, mind, and meaning. Computer Music Journal, 5(3). Retrieved from

Munandar, M. I., & Newton, J. (2021). Indonesian EFL teachers’ pedagogic beliefs and classroom practices regarding culture and interculturality. Language and Intercultural Communication, 21(2), 158–173.

Murtiningrum, S. (2009). Classroom interaction in English learning (master thesis), Sanata Dharma University, Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Retrieved from

Nurlaelawati, I., Lengkanawati, N. S., & Gunawan, W. (2020). Recontextualising genre-based pedagogy in Indonesian context: a case of preservice teachers. International Journal of Education, 12(2), 80-91.

OECD. (n.d). Reading performance (PISA). Retrieved from

Owens, M. T., & Tanner, K. D. (2017). Teaching as brain changing: exploring connections between neuroscience and innovative teaching. CBE—Life Sciences Education, 16(2), fe2.

Putra, D. A., & Lukmana, I. (2017). Text complexity in senior high school English textbooks: a systemic functional perspective. Indonesian Journal of Applied Linguistics, 7(2), 436–444.

Rose, D., & Martin, J. R. (2012). Learning to write, reading to learn: genre, knowledge and pedagogy in the Sydney School. London: Equinox.

Samanhudi, U. (2011). Researching students’ critical thinking in argumentative texts (a systemic functional linguistic perspective). LEKSIKA, 5(2). Retrieved from

Saputra, A., Hakim, M. A. R., Saputra, E., & Rahmat, Y. N. (2020). The difficulties faced by Indonesian efl learners in pronouncing “s” and “es” suffixes in the simple present tense verbs and in plural form of nouns. Linguists: Journal of Linguistics and Language Teaching, 6(1), 55-65.

Sawir, E. (2005). Language difficulties of international students in Australia: the effects of prior learning experience. International Education Journal, 6(5), 567-580. Retrieved from

Sulistiyo, U. (2016). English language teaching and EFL teacher competence in Indonesia. In Proceedings of ISELT FBS Universitas Negeri Padang (Volume 4, Issue 2), (pp. 396-406), English Department of FBS, Universitas Negeri Padang, Padang, Indonesia. Retrieved from

Thomas, G. (1997). What’s the use of theory? Harvard Educational Review, 67(1), 75–104.

Thomas, G. (2007). Education and theory: strangers in paradigms. New York: Open University Press McGraw-Hill Education

Ummah, P. W. B. (2019). Genre-based approach as a method to build students’ critical thinking in comprehending narrative text for senior high school. LITERA-KULTURAL, 7(1), 13-27.

Widdowson, H. G. (1990). Aspects of language teaching. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Widodo, H. P. (2018). A critical micro-semiotic analysis of values depicted in the Indonesian Ministry of National Education-endorsed secondary school English textbook. In

Situating Moral and Cultural Values in ELT Materials (pp. 131–152).

Yang, N. (2016). Improving the English speaking skills and phonological working memory of Chinese primary EFL learners with a verbotonal-based approach (doctoral dissertation), Suranaree University of Technology Intellectual Repository.


Article Metrics

Abstract view : 543 times
PDF - 181 times


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2022 THE AUTHOR(S)

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

JEFL is published by Institut Agama Islam Negeri (IAIN) Palangka Raya in collaboration with the Association of Teachers of English Linguistics, Literature and Education (ELITE Association) in Indonesia [MoU manuscript].

Editor and Administration Address:

Department of English Language EducationFaculty of Teacher Training and Education, Institut Agama Islam Negeri (IAIN) Palangka Raya, Jalan G. Obos Komplek Islamic Centre Palangka Raya, Kalimantan Tengah, Indonesia, Postal Code 73111, Email: [email protected], Website:

OAI address of JEFL is available at

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

stats View My Stats

Flag Counter