A critical review of genre based instruction in a writing and research course for second langauge graduate students
Mahoney, Shannon Kathleen.
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This study examines a recently developed EAP (English for Academic Purposes) course that was largely guided by the genre based instruction promoted by Swales and Feak and outlined in the textbook used in the class: 'Academic Writing for Graduate Students' by Swales and Feak. Although the theory behind and the acclaim for genre based teaching has received significant attention in literature in EAPs, limited studies have been published about its application in EAP programs for graduate students at language institutes. This project aims to contribute to filling that gap by outlining a course taught at an independent language school in Bozeman, Montana in the summer of 2014. The study looks at the ways sentence level and other larger textual features developed in the students' writing in response to the classroom activities, assigned independent work, and regular student conferences. The results indicate that to varying degrees and in varying areas student writing developed during the course. The study concludes that although the type of genre based instruction used in the course may pose some challenges for a class situated outside of the students' discipline and without disciplinary support, there is still much to be gained from it.