Genre in Three Traditions: Implications for ESL

TitleGenre in Three Traditions: Implications for ESL
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1996
AuthorsHyon, Sunny
JournalTESOL Quarterly
KeywordsESL, genre

Within the last two decades, a number of researchers have beeninterested in genre as a tool for developing Ll and L2 instruction. Both genre and genre-based pedagogy, however, have been conceived of in distinct ways by researchers in different scholarly traditions and in different parts of the world, making the genre literature a complicated body of scholarship to understand. The purpose of this article is to provide a map of current genre theories and teaching applications in three research areas where genre scholarship has taken significantly different paths: (a) English for specific purposes (ESP), (b) North American New Rhetoric studies, and (c) Australian systemic functional linguistics. The article compares definitions and analyses of genres within these three traditions and examines their contexts, goals, and instructional frameworks for genre-based pedagogy. The investigation reveals that ESP and Australian genre research provides ESL instructors with insights into the linguistic features of written texts as well as useful guidelines for presenting these features in classrooms. New Rhetoric scholarship, on the other hand, offers language teachers fuller perspectives on the institutional contexts around academic and professional genres and the functions genres serve within these settings.