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Evolutionary Syntax

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The Making of Vernacular Singapore English

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Academic Paper

Title: Genre awareness for the novice academic student: An ongoing quest
Author: Ann M. Johns
Institution: San Diego State University
Linguistic Field: Applied Linguistics; Ling & Literature
Abstract: Genre, the most social constructivist of literacy concepts, has been theorized and variously applied to pedagogies by three major ‘schools’: the New Rhetoric, English for Specific Purposes, and Systemic Functional Linguistics. In this paper, I will discuss my long, and ongoing, search for a pedagogy drawn from genre theories for novice academic students. With others, I am trying to find or develop an approach that is coherent and accessible to students while still promoting rhetorical flexibility and genre awareness. I will first define and problematize the term genre. Then, I will briefly discuss what each of the three genre ‘schools’ can offer to novice students – as well as their pedagogical shortcomings. Finally, I will suggest two promising approaches to teaching genre awareness: learning communities and ‘macro-genres’.


This article appears IN Language Teaching Vol. 41, Issue 2, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .

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