In this case study, we get a comprehensive insight into the work undertaken by Lina Russo as part of a Spencer Foundation Action Research Project carried out in 1999. As a teacher of both English and Italian to the same group of students, she set about introducing a systemic functional linguistics (SFL) metalanguage through both English and Italian. Although this research was well documented at the time, it was never widely disseminated. We are making it available here because it remains an excellent example of the gains to be made when a shared functional metalanguage is a key part of any literacy pedagogy. When Lina started this work in her Italian language class, it was, as far as we are aware, the first example of the SFL metalanguage being used in the context of teaching Italian.
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