Genre Analysis

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ENG 625MAugust 1, 2009
Dr. DT Dayag

Critics of genre analysis argue that it is too product-oriented and prescriptivist. On the other hand, supporters (e.g Hart, 1986) say that genre analysis is pattern-seeking, rather than pattern-imposing. To what extent are these arguments valid? How may second language teachers deal with the potential problem of focusing too much on form than process? Give a comprehensive discussion.

Genre analysis as an area of inquiry is a framework for analyzing language use for different purposes, particularly for the teaching and learning of English for academic and professional purposes. To claim that the study becomes too product-oriented and prescriptivist violates the notion of dynamism in discourse for discourse is not merely the text, it is always context bound. It is related with human behavior which is not entirely predictable as man has the tendency to exploit conventions to express his private intentions (Bhatia, 2001) However, genre analysis may have the notion of being product-oriented and prescriptivist when genre analysts describe the differences in language use among the different areas of academic or professional disciplines for despite its dynamic nature its dynamism is confined within the group. A genre is not a genre if it does not belong to a category. Thus, discourse structure is essentially socio-cognitive where individual variation is underplayed and disciplinary community consensus is given foremost importance. From amongst the studies we discussed in our Discourse class, it is evident that genre analysts investigate on the social practices of academic writing treating each section of a research article as a genre by itself. Martinez (2008), on the other hand, studied the construction of themes by different disciplines A lot of considerations or variables are made in the inquiry like differences between or amongst the...
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