In recent years, movie class plays a more and more important role in English teaching in China. Most teachers require students to write movie reviews after watching the movie. However, how to write movie review is still remain unclear to students. Some student download a review from the internet, and some write a summary of the movie instead. Genre analysis is a system of analysis by which observations are made on the repeated communicative functions found in genres and on the linguistic features of these functions (Brett, 1994). Genre knowledge played an important role in helping novices understand how to produce academics, professional or educational discourse. Genre study can help to improve Chinese students’ movie review writing skills. This study was conducted using the framework of genre analysis to explore move structure and underlying patterns of movie review as a genre. The movie we choose is The King’s Speech, an Oscar award winner. The movie combines educational meaning with humorous performance. The story may seem boring but it was well organized and each of the characters in the movie has his or her distinct personalities. We consider a movie like this one can arouse students’ interests, and students can also have plenty materials to write in their movie reviews. The movie was shown in movie class in Zhejiang University and all students were asked to finish a movie review. There was no word limit, so all students can write as much as they want. After all the movie review was collected, we find out that some of them were copied from the internet. Besides, several movie reviews have less than one hundred word. It was clear that these students have not taken this work seriously and these movie reviews cannot represent their true ability. We rule out all these movie reviews and choose ten samples from the entire movie reviews randomly.
2. Literature Review
Genre has different meaning in different fields. Among them, Swales’ concept of genre for the applied linguistic purposes is the most influential one in the field of genre analysis so far. Before Swales, Martin (1984) argues that ‘A genre is a staged, goal oriented, purposeful activity, in which speakers engage as members of our culture… Virtually everything you do involves you participating in one or other genre. Culture seen in these terms can be defined as a set of generically interpretable activities.” Swales (1990) defines genre as ‘A genre comprises a class of communicative events, the members of which share some set of communicative purposes. These purposes are recognized by the expert members of the parent discourse community and thereby constitute the rationale for the genre. This rationale shapes the schematic structure of the discourse and influences and constrains choice of content and style. Communicative purpose is both a privileged criterion and one that operates to keep the scope of a genre as here conceived narrowly focused on comparable rhetorical action. In addition to purpose, exemplars of genre exhibit various patterns of similarity in terms of structure, style, content and intended audience. If all high probability expectations are realized, the exemplar will be viewed as prototypical by the parent discourse community.’ (Swales 1990:58) According to Vijay K. Bhatia (1993), a genre ‘is a recognizable communicative event characterized by a set of communicative purpose(s) identified and mutually understood by the members of the professional or academic community in which it regularly occurs. Most often it is highly structured and conventionalized with constraints on allowable contributions in terms of their intent, positioning, form, and functional value. These constraints, however, are often exploited by the expert members of the community to achieve private intentions within the framework of socially recognized purpose(s).’ According to Bhatia (1993), genre analysis has progressed through four levels. Register...
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