Chapter 10. DocuScope for genre analysis

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This chapter introduces DocuScope, a text-visualization and analysis software tool. This tool was not originally developed to teach or assess pragmatics; however, it carries a great deal of potential for assessing second language (L2) learners’ ability to produce texts in a variety of genres, suggesting a significant connection with pragmatics in L2 writing. We present a study in which DocuScope was applied to classroom assessment and teaching in rural China. The application of the tool demonstrated that the Chinese EFL students who were assigned different target genres with minimal training were able to write short (200–500 word) texts that met the specifications of each target genre. Such a result suggests the promise of using DocuScope as a filtering tool to determine whether EFL students have enough “genre-specific” English patterns to create texts that are recognizable as appropriate to one or another classroom genre. The implications of this finding for teaching second language writing are discussed.


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