The Effects of Genre-based Writing Instruction on College English Academic Literacy

Wenli Tsou, Vivien Lin, Vivien Lin
2013 unpublished
This study first investigates the current level of awareness towards genres of academic writing among students at a public university in Taiwan, and then measures the effect of genre-based writing instruction on the students' genre awareness and the quality of their writing for the argumentative text type. Eighty-six sophomores enrolled in an English for Academic Purposes (EAP) course were randomly divided into control and experimental groups, and completed tests on genre awareness and
more » ... reness and argumentative writing before and after the genre-based writing instruction courses. Over seven weeks, the experimental group received weekly training sessions on the relationship between text and context, rhetorical structure, and lexico-grammatical features of eight key academic text types. Through small group activities, they analyzed and practiced writing the text types. Finally, both groups were measured on their writing abilities. 117 Results showed that although both groups displayed a low level of genre awareness, after instruction, the experimental group increased their genre awareness significantly. Furthermore, the experimental group showed significant improvement in their textual organization and coherence based on analytical scoring. Genre-based training also resulted in significant improvements in text development, structure, and cohesion. The study proved the effectiveness of academic literacy training sessions on improving academic writing at the university level.