Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Special Issue on CALL Number 8. July 2022                       Pp.314-329

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A Systemic Functional Linguistic  and Critical Discourse Analysis of
A Selected Speech on COVID-19 

Zahraa Khaleel Ghali Al-Badri
Department of English Language, College of Languages
University of Baghdad, Baghdad, Iraq
Corresponding Author:

Suadad Fadhil Kadhim Al-Janabi
Department of English Language, College of Languages
University of Baghdad, Baghdad, Iraq


Received: 05/01/2022             Accepted:07/21/2022              Published: 07/28/2022


This paper displays a Systemic Functional Linguistic and Critical Discourse Analysis of Boris Johnson’s first public speech on COVID-19. Covid-19 is a very dangerous infectious disease caused by the last discovered virus of the Coronavirus strain. This virus began in Wuhan’s Chinese city in December 2019. COVID-19 has spread from Wuhan to the rest of the world. It has now turned into a pandemic affecting the whole world. Halliday’s (2004) model of systemic functional linguistics (meta-functions), relying on interpersonal and ideational metafunctions, and Van Dijk’s ideology and discourse (2000) model depending on the argumentation categories, are the adopted models of analysis. The paper’s main objectives are to analyze the speech of Prime Minister Boris critically to uncover the used ideologies to advise, persuade and control the people’s beliefs and actions. In addition, this paper aims to identify the interpersonal and ideational meta-functions in the selected speeches of the chosen figure stating their frequencies, then finding out how these features uncover the ideological strategies used to affect all people; Finding the argumentation categories that are used by the prime minister to support the ideas and actions presented. The paper presents a theoretical background of discourse, Critical discourse analysis, dominant, and ideology. Explains the adopted models; Analyzes the speech critically.
Keywords: Boris Johnson, Critical, COVID-19, discourse analysis, dominant, discourse, ideology, power, speech,
systemic functional linguistic

Cite as:  Al-Badri, Z. K. G., & Al-Janabi, S. F. K. . (2022).  A Systemic Functional Linguistic and Critical Discourse Analysis of A Selected Speech on COVID-19. Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Special Issue on CALL (8). 314-329.


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Received: 05/01/2022 
Accepted: 07/21/2022
Published: 07/28/2022 

Zahraa Khaleel Ghali Al- Badri received her B. A. degree in English Language from the University of Baghdad, College of Languages, Department of English in 2018 . She is currently an M.A. student at the same University and College. 

Suadad Fadhil Kadhum Al-Janabi is an Assistant Professor in the department of English at College of Languages, University of Baghdad. She holds a Master of Arts degree in English Language and Linguistics from the University of Baghdad, College of Languages. She has been
teaching at university since 1999. she published several papers concerning my major.
My research interest is the discourse, pragmatics, stylistics, and cognitive issues.