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Communicative purpose in student genres: evidence from authors and texts

Communicative purpose in student genres: evidence from authors and texts
Communicative purpose in student genres: evidence from authors and texts
Academic writing, including in English as an Academic Lingua Franca, has become a central feature for the majority of European university students. Despite a large body of research, we find that conceptualisations of student writing still tend to assume a direct link to expert academic genres, which are often explicitly evoked as models. Within a genre analytic paradigm, however, the importance of communicative purpose for the identification of genres suggests a need for a different conceptualisation, namely one where student genres are viewed as independent genres.

Following such an argumentation, this paper investigates the communicative purposes that are represented in L2 academic student papers, with a focus on introductions and conclusions. Altogether 56 papers were analysed in terms of their genre structures, and all student authors provided questionnaire data about their communicative purposes. Findings suggest a clear set of shared communicative purposes, with, however, some interesting mismatches in student writing. Firstly, communicative purposes are identified and realised which are not deemed appropriate by expert members of the discourse community and, secondly, despite overtly identifying appropriate communicative purposes, textual realisations do not match these. Both of these mismatches have clear pedagogic implications related to fostering students’ genre awareness and genre competence.
0932-6936
29-43
Huettner, Julia
bb0cd345-6c35-48e1-89f7-a820605aaa2c
Huettner, Julia
bb0cd345-6c35-48e1-89f7-a820605aaa2c

Huettner, Julia (2015) Communicative purpose in student genres: evidence from authors and texts. Fremdsprachen Lehren und Lernen, 44 (1), 29-43.

Record type: Article

Abstract

Academic writing, including in English as an Academic Lingua Franca, has become a central feature for the majority of European university students. Despite a large body of research, we find that conceptualisations of student writing still tend to assume a direct link to expert academic genres, which are often explicitly evoked as models. Within a genre analytic paradigm, however, the importance of communicative purpose for the identification of genres suggests a need for a different conceptualisation, namely one where student genres are viewed as independent genres.

Following such an argumentation, this paper investigates the communicative purposes that are represented in L2 academic student papers, with a focus on introductions and conclusions. Altogether 56 papers were analysed in terms of their genre structures, and all student authors provided questionnaire data about their communicative purposes. Findings suggest a clear set of shared communicative purposes, with, however, some interesting mismatches in student writing. Firstly, communicative purposes are identified and realised which are not deemed appropriate by expert members of the discourse community and, secondly, despite overtly identifying appropriate communicative purposes, textual realisations do not match these. Both of these mismatches have clear pedagogic implications related to fostering students’ genre awareness and genre competence.

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Published date: May 2015
Organisations: Modern Languages

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 377074
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/377074
ISSN: 0932-6936
PURE UUID: f5f64925-71c9-4cdd-bb44-36ade9b764d0

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Date deposited: 19 May 2015 12:01
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 21:04

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