Increase in migration around the world has put a focus on the role language plays in the construction of knowledge across school subjects, as attention to language can support diverse learners in subject area learning. Drawing on the notions of register and grammatical metaphor from systemic functional linguistics, this article shows how nouns are powerful resources for knowledge construction and presentation that vary in the ways they are drawn on in different disciplines for functional purposes. In addition, it shows how developmentally, children move from elaboration and expansion of the noun group toward abstraction and grammatical metaphor through nominalization. Examples from language arts, science, and history/social studies illustrate the roles nouns, noun groups, and nominalization play in constructing knowledge at different age levels and in different subject areas. Implications for pedagogy are drawn.
Teaching and Learning