The Systemic Functional Linguistics Interest Group (SFL Interest Group, or SFLIG in short) was first created on Facebook on the 12th of May in 2014 by Vinh To when Vinh was a PhD student in educational linguistics at the University of Tasmania. The purpose of this Facebook Discussion Group was to provide a forum for networking with other research students and SFL scholars, and to support those who are new to SFL, and have limited access to SFL resources and discussions with experts.
With the initial help of Dr Ahmar Mahboob at the University of Sydney and his colleagues, the group had around several hundreds of members in the first year. During May 2014 and July 2015, Vinh was the sole Admin of this professional group. In July 2015, Ahmar joined as the second Admin. Over the years, many members joined the group and the number increased to approximately 2,000 members in early May 2020.
With the nomination of Dr Yaegan Doran, Yufei He and Dongling (Mus) Zhang joined the group as additional Admins in late 2018. In early 2020, both Yufei and Mus finished their PhD studies at the University of Sydney and came back to China. Yufei wished to withdraw from the Admin team to focus on her work, while Mus is still happy to be kept in the Admin team. At the same time, Ahmar has had other commitments and stopped his involvement as an Admin for the Facebook Discussion Group.
Vinh has actively promoted this group in different forums, and quickly built this group by creating different social flatforms for it including a Facebook Page, a Twitter Account, a Website, a Gmail Account, a YouTube channel, and a Mailing list within three weeks in late April and early May. Also in this period, Vinh has done all preparations for the organisation of the first SFL webinars from June to November 2020, hosted by the SFL Interest Group.
The Facebook Discussion Group still keeps its own purposes in networking, providing a forum for SFL discussions, providing resources and related news in the field. With a number of new social flatforms, the SFL Interest Group will also do other activities to support members, with the organisation of the SFL webinars in 2020 as the first initiative. The SFL Interest Group Facebook Page, Twitter Account, Website, Gmail, YouTube channel, and Mailing list have been created to communicate with SFL members about the current and future group activities.
Vinh has also called for nominations for the Admin post in different continents and received interest from Kathryn, Eszter, Thomas and Isaac. The group has international admin team members which represent different continents since 26 April 2020.
- Creator/Lead Administrator, Australia representative: Dr Vinh To (Vinh.To@utas.edu.au)
- Asia representatives: Dr Amundrud Thomas Martin (email@example.com) and Dongbing Mus Zhang (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Africa representative: Dr Isaac N. Mwinlaaru (email@example.com)
- Europe representative: Dr Eszter Szenes (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- North America representative: Dr Kathryn Accurso (email@example.com)