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Online peer-reviewed Journal for Teachers

English for Specific Purposes World (ESP World)

English for Specific Purposes World

ISSN 1682-3257

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Can genre-based instruction be 'promising' for transferability?

Wen-hsien Yang

Department of Applied English

National Kaohsiung University of Hospitality and Tourism, Taiwan


The application of genre-based writing instruction (GBWI) has increased many ESP practitioners’ interest in the teaching of writing. The effectiveness of GBWI is starting to be acknowledged. However there is a gap in the research as to whether ESP writers are able to build genre awareness and transfer this awareness to the writing of other genres. Hence, this study investigates whether 24 ESP learners in an EFL setting can build contextual and linguistic awareness of genre. It also explores whether or not learners were able to compose another genre, drawing on their previous knowledge of genre analysis after completing a genre-based writing course on hospitality and tourism. The results confirm these ESP writers’ acquisition of genre knowledge and the transferability of such knowledge to other genres, when provided with ‘scaffolded instruction’. The study suggests that ESP writing pedagogy can be genre-based and conducted through explicit instruction on genre analysis.

Keywords: ESP writing, genre analysis, genre-based writing instruction, genre transferability

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