has shown a consistent relationship between writing apprehension and a variety of measures of competence in English. High apprehensive score lower on standardized tests of writing and write essays that receive lower evaluations (Wen-Shuenn (2006). Writing apprehension has proven to have a negative influence on EFL/ESL learners’ writing performance and quality (Cheng, Horwitz & Shallert, 1999; Hassan, 2001; Masny & Foxall, 1992 Atay & Kurt, 2006; etc.). Tsui (1996) believes that learning to write in the foreign language involves as much anxiety as learning the other skills, because writing is predominantly product-oriented, and it requires individual work, i.e., students feel they are deprived of help, support and encouragement. As a result, learners suffer from a “distress associated with writing” and develop “a profound distaste for the process” (Madigan, Linton & Johnson, 1996: 295). When teacher feedback includes inconsistent marking of errors or vague responses on content, it may even influence students’ writing ability negatively making them confused, passive or frustrated (Williams, 2003).
A recent study (Jahin, 2007) highlighted the need for teachers to create a sense of community within the EFL classroom, especially in EFL writing classrooms, as well as the need to provide students with ample opportunity to cooperate in groups or pairs so that they can overcome their apprehension blocks.
The purpose of this study is to investigate the extent of familiarity of ESP teachers and ESP course learners with writing skills, based on the current rhetorical and systemic functional grammar (SFG).Scholars who are non-native speakers (NNS) may receive inadequate training in the skills required to write scientific English and may even be unaware of the various language and procedural issues involved in gaining acceptance from their own research community.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The study of English language teachers’ cognitions and its relationship to teachers’ classroom practices have recently been the focus of language teaching and teacher education (Borg, 2006 & 2010). However, rarely have the studies delved into teachers’ knowledge about grammar (reviewed by Borg, 2001) or investigated the relationships between teachers’ knowledge about grammar and teachers’ actions (Borg, 2003; Sanchez, 2010).
The main reason for the non-native authors’ failure for article publication is the violation of maxims dominating the research article in journals( Hyland and Hamp-Lyons, 2002).however, it is generally believed that writing the academic papers is a challenging matter for non native speakers (NNS).( Khani& Mansoori).
Many studies have been done on how to improve ESP teachers & learners academic language. However, it seems that most of ESP teachers & learners are not familiar with SFG model specifically rhetoric models. Accordingly, the present study is to investigate the extent of familiarity of ESP teachers& learners with academic language at graduate levels (M.A& PhD).
1.3 Significance of the study
In line with the previous research, the present study is important both theoretically and practically. At the theoretical level, the findings of the study are expected to broaden our view about the related literature and would help us get much more inclusive picture of how the familiarity of ESP teachers and learners with academic rhetoric within a systemic functional grammar, reflective the writing for publication.
Practically, the findings will help ESP teachers and learners get aware of the importance of these variables in their academic writing and to achieve the publication of papers.
Acquisition of rhetorical structure and functional grammar (Halliday, 1985) can be very helpful for academicians to achieve the wanted goal which is indeed, the publication of papers. These worthwhile issues have urged writers to focus on writing for publication. However as long as writing is regarded to be a culturally bounded phenomenon ( Kaplan, 1966) publication of research articles in English seems a challenging task for native and non-native writers.
The previous studies rarely have the studies delved into teachers’ knowledge about grammar (reviewed by Borg, 2001) or investigated the relationships between teachers’ knowledge about grammar and teachers’ actions (Borg, 2003; Sanchez, 2010). The present study set out to investigate the ESP teachers& learners familiarity with academic language and with SFG at graduate levels( MA& PhD).It seems important to determine any unique characteristic of teachers which are considered as effective factors in both teaching and learning process.( walker,2009).
Further, this investigation seems to provide an opportunity for readers to get acquisition with academic written in general. Those who are members of the academic context can benefit more from the findings of the study.
1.4 Research Questions
Based on the above discussion, the following research questions are raised:
1. To what extent are Iranian ESP teachers and learner familiar with academic rhetoric within the systemic Functional Grammar (SFG) model?
2. Is there any relationship between teachers and learners’ gender, degree and experience with their familiarity with academic rhetoric?
1.5 The Research Hypothesis
In order to come up with answers to these questions the present study puts forward the following hypotheses:
1. Familiarity of ESP teachers and learners in Iran with Academic Rhetoric and a systemic Functional grammar is high.
2. There is no relationship between teachers and learners’ gender, degree and experience with their familiarity with academic rhetoric.
1.6. Definitions of the Technical Terms Used in the Study
1.6.1 Systemic Functional Grammar (Halliday)
Systemic functional linguists are concerned with the way languages are used by their users in a specific context. In other words systemic Functional Grammar tries to speculate the way linguistic forms are handled in order to convey meanings in a socio-cultural environment. In the systemic Functional Grammar (SFG) tripartite systems are coexisting. (Fetzer, 2008).
SFG is a form of grammatical description originated by Michael Halliday. It is part of a social semiotic approach to language called systemic functional linguistics. In these two terms, systemic refers to the view of language as “a network of systems, or interrelated sets of options for making meaning”; functional refers to Halliday’s view that language is as it is because of what it has evolved to do. Thus, what he refers to as the multidimensional architecture of language “reflects the multidimensional nature of human experience and interpersonal relations.”
Some interrelated key terms underpin Halliday’s approach to grammar, which forms part of his account of how language works. These concepts are: system, (Meta) function, and rank. Another key term is lexicogrammar. In this view, grammar and lexis are two ends of the same continuum.