Writing & Pedagogy, Vol 10, No 1-2 (2018)

Contested or complementary? Mingling between two distinct writing pedagogies for genre instruction in one EFL undergraduate writing course

Yi-Hsuan Gloria Lo, Ying-Hsueh Cheng
Issued Date: 24 Sep 2018

Abstract


This paper aims to investigate how novice EFL writers develop their genre awareness and rhetorical flexibility in a genre-based writing course that incorporates two distinct types of genres (essay and journal writing) for practice simultaneously. Three sets of qualitative and quantitative data were collected: surveys, reflection papers from 40 students, and semi-structured interviews with eight students. Descriptive statistical analysis provides an overview on students' perceptions on the two types of genres and the distinct pedagogies. Qualitative data gathered from the in-depth interviews were used to understand how learners intermingle between two distinct writing pedagogies and what the perceived impact is on students' subsequent functional writing practice. In order to explore how students developed their genre awareness (cognitive) and rhetorical flexibility (metacognitive), we draw on Grabe and Kaplan's (1996) notion of ethnography of writing: (1) the purpose of a certain genre; (2) the criteria for writing; (3) audience; and (4) their goals/expectations. The findings show that most learners attached different benefits to these two genre-based instructions, enabling them to recontextualize their writing performance when necessary. Pedagogically, this study provides alternative pedagogies to the most commonly seen dilemma for L2 writing instruction. Theoretically, this research demonstrates how contested pedagogies can be complementary to enhance our understanding of to what extent cross-genre awareness can be raised and transformed through distinct genre-based practices.

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DOI: 10.1558/wap.32503

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