Some dichotomies in genre analysis for Languages for Specific Purposes

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Genres are staged, structured, communicative events, motivated by various communicative purposes, and performed by members of specific discourse communities (Swales, 1990; Bhatia, 1993, 2004; Berkenkotter and Huckin, 1995; Johns, 1997). Since its inception with the two seminal works on the topic by Swales (1990) and Bhatia (1993), genre analysis has taken pride of place in much of the ongoing research in languages for specific purposes (LSP). The goal of much of this research is pedagogic, the understanding being that good genre descriptions can feed into pedagogy in the form of syllabus and materials design. This chapter considers four dichotomies for genre research. These dichotomies are: 1. Individual genres vs genre networks; 2. Written vs spoken genres; 3. Macro vs micro levels of analysis; and 4. Move structure vs. lexico-grammar. Each of these dichotomies has important implications for LSP pedagogy, not just the last, and these are highlighted in the course of the chapter.


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