Discussing LCT with Karl Maton: Meeting the Man Who Defined LCT.

Author: Craig Blacklock

On the 21st of November 2019, a group of 21 students from Wenzhou-Kean University embarked on a journey to Guangzhou, to a Symposium on Public Discourse Studies hosted at Guangdong University of Foreign Language Studies on the 22nd & 23rd of November 2019. The Students were accompanied by Doctor Gina Roach, Lecturer Craig Blacklock, and Department Secretary Dong Ruiying (Ricci).

Figure 1: WKU Students at Guangdong University of Foreign Language Studies

The symposium had two key note speakers from The University of Sydney, with Professor Karl Maton lecturing on Legitimate Code Theory (LCT), and Doctor Yaegan Doran lecturing on Systematic Functional Linguistics (SFL). Both of these aspects, SFL (a linguistics tool) and LCT (a sociological tool), had been studied at Wenzhou-Kean University in the undergraduate course, Research in Language and Literature – taught by Doctor Gina Roach. As 6 students had written papers using LCT and SFL, they were able to present their papers at the symposium and get feedback from these renowned academics. With Professor Maton and Doctor Yaegan Doran having collaborated on a book Accessing Academic Discourse: Systemic Functional Linguistics and Legitimation Code Theory (Martin, Maton, & Doran, 2019) as means of exploring academic discourse. This book is a follow on from Prof. Maton’s other book Knowledge-building: Educational studies in Legitimation Code Theory (Maton, Hood, & Shay, 2015)

A Symposium on Public Discourse Studies at Guangdong University of foreign language Studies.

Key Note speakers: Professor Karl Maton – Legitimate Code Theory (LCT)

Doctor Yaegan Doran – Systematic Functional Linguistics

Figure 2: Attendees at the Symposium on Public Discourse Studies at Guangdong University of Foreign Language Studies

In real terms, Professor Karl Maton is noted as being the predominant sociologist of knowledge in the developed of LCT, making this symposium a very real opportunity for the undergraduates presenting their papers to get feedback from the foremost academic in the field. Or alternatively to get feedback on SFL from Doctor Yaegan Doran, who has been hugely influential in that field. Such opportunities at undergraduate level are few and far between and must be taken as opportunities to further develop one’s own academic acumen.

Altogether, 6 students presented at the symposium; with 4 students presenting individually and 2 students presenting together.

Figure 3: Presenters (mentioned left) with Doctor Gina Roach representing Wenzhou-Kean University

Wenzhou-Kean University Student Presenters:

Meng Lijia (Jasmine)

“What Are Girls Made Of?”: A Multimodal Analysis of a TV Gendered Message.

Ruan Zhouxue (Joy)

The Visual Grammar of Iconic National Geographic Covers.

Ma Tianyi (Cecilia)

Brand Logos: An Analysis of the Coding Orientation of Design.

Zheng Yunjing (Sukie)

Colors in Visual Representations: A Multi-Modal Analysis of Paintings.

Hua Xinyi & Cui Zhang (Rene & Lavender)

An Exploration of Issues Students Face in Reading Literature Cannons.

Chen Zhaowan (Candice)

An LCT Semantics Analysis of Knowledge Forms and Knowledge Movements in Disciplinary Reading Lists.


All Students from Wenzhou-Kean university that attended the symposium:

Ding Yuyang (Leo), Tang Feng (Feng), Li Yiwen (Doris), Xie Xiaoyi (Shae), Zhang Wenxuan (Frances), Zhang Siyu (Daisy), Shu Xinge (Peri), Yang Jiying (Miriam), Zhu Zheyan (Yani), He Shuoshuo (Chloe), Zha Yiwen (Cherry), Li Yitian (Cassiel), Wang Erxiao (Kitty), & Mao Jinze (Mathew).


Martin, J. R., Maton, K., & Doran, Y. J. (2019). Accessing academic discourse: systemic functional linguistics and legitimation code theory. Routledge. Retrieved from https://www.routledge.com/Accessing-Academic-Discourse-Systemic-Functional-Linguistics-and-Legitimation/Martin-Maton-Doran/p/book/9780367236076

Maton, K., Hood, S., & Shay, S. (2015). Knowledge-building: educational studies in legitimation code theory. Routledge. Retrieved from https://www.routledge.com/Knowledge-building-Educational-studies-in-Legitimation-Code-Theory-1st/Maton-Hood-Shay/p/book/9780415692335