Introducing Discourse-Based English Teaching in Pakistan: The Systemic-Functional Grammar and Visual Grammar Perspectives


  • Muhammad Aslam University of the Punjab
  • Syed Danish Nasir University of Central Punjab, Lahore


Systemic-Functional Grammar, Multi-Semiotic Texts, Multi-Genre Texts, Visual Grammar, English Teaching in Pakistan


In Pakistan, English is taught as a second language at all tiers of education. But the goal of a desirable discourse competence has never been attained despite several attempts to overhaul syllabus and material development process. The purpose of this reflective paper is to explore an approach to English that will invigorate the efforts being made to develop discourse competence of Pakistani learners. Communication is developed through communication and a concrete model of communication was offered by Halliday in form of his Systemic-Functional grammar. The model has successfully been employed in Australia, Asia, Europe, and even USA. As communication is rapidly shifting to multi-modal means, Visual Grammar is also worthwhile in suggesting the way out to deal with new communicative challenges faced by Pakistani learners of English. To achieve this purpose, an overview of the notion of discourse, main developments in the field of discourse, models of integration of discourse studies with English Education, possibilities and challenges in implementing discourse oriented practices in English learning in Pakistan were discussed with a critical and professional lens. The reflection on the purposefully selected literature reveals that a shift to the discourse paradigm is inevitable for developing discourse competence of the learners. The deliberations in the paper conclude with suggestions for planning and implementation of discourse based English teaching in Pakistan.

Author Biography

Syed Danish Nasir, University of Central Punjab, Lahore