A Genre-Based Approach to Writing Instruction in EFL Classroom Contexts

  •  Akiko Nagao    


This study explored how 14 foreign-language writers at a university in Japan changed their genre awareness of discussion genre texts (particularly argumentative essays) during a 15-week systemic functional linguistics course consisting of text-based writing lessons assigned as part of a teaching and learning cycle. To obtain in-depth quantitative and qualitative insights into changes in the students’ awareness of genre and writing skills, pre- and post-surveys and self-reflection written texts were administered and analyzed. Twelve previously proposed criteria (covering generic structure, lexicogrammar, and multidimensional analyses of attitudes and performance) were used to analyze the self-reflection texts. The preliminary results showed that the students’ understanding of generic structure and lexicogrammar improved, especially their comprehension of the second and third paragraphs of the target genre text. The preliminary results of the correlation analysis illustrated that the increased understanding of lexicogrammatical features, such as textual meaning, interpersonal meaning, and experiential meaning, was related to their self-efficacy and confidence in their writing skills. The preliminary analysis results indicated that that applying a teaching and learning cycle and a genre-based approach to writing instruction has the potential to enhance EFL students’ awareness of generic structure and interpersonal meaning in writing argumentative essays.

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