In this paper, a linguistic based meta-heuristic modelling and solution approach for solving the Flexible Job Shop Scheduling Problem (FJSSP) is presented. FJSSP is an extension of the classical job-shop scheduling problem. The present problem definition is to assign each operation to a machine out of a set of capable machines (the routing problem) and to order the operations on the machines (the sequencing problem), such that a predefined performance measure is optimized. The scope of the problem is widened by taking into account the alternative process plans for each part (process plan selection problem) in the present study. Moreover, instead of using operations to represent product processing requirements and machine processing capabilities, machine independent capability units, which are known as Resource Elements (RE), are used. Representation of unique and shared capability boundaries of machine tools and part processing requirements is possible via RE. Using REs in scheduling can also reduce the problem size. The FJSSP is presented as a grammar and the productions in the grammar are defined as controls. Using these controls and the Giffler and Thompson (1960) priority rule-based heuristic, a simulated annealing algorithm is developed to solve FJSSP. This novel approach simplifies the modelling process of the FJSSP and enables usage of existing job shop scheduling algorithms for its solution. The results obtained from the computational study have shown that the proposed algorithm can solve this complex problem effectively within reasonable time. The results have also given some insights on the effect of the selection of dispatching rules and the flexibility level on the job shop performance. It is observed that the effect of dispatching rule selection on the job shop performance diminishes by increasing the job shop flexibility.