Explicit instruction of persuasive genre writing in the intermediate classroom Schut, Janice
In order to understand the function of language in a culture, participants must be knowledgeable about the genres of that culture. Ethnographers have demonstrated that there are discourses which are unique to ethnic, cultural, and socio-economic groups. In order to function effectively within a dominant culture, it is necessary that language learners gain mastery over sanctioned genres. Contemporary educational theory posits that desirable cultural texts can be explicitly and purposefully taught to language learners. This teacher research study sought to examine this theory. Over the course of sixteen lessons, an intermediate class in a school in British Columbia was explicitly taught the characteristics of persuasive genre text. The students were taught the function, organizational framework, and the grammar of persuasive text. Students were assessed prior to the instruction and after the instruction. After the instruction, the performance and perspective of a small sample of students was analyzed to determine if explicit teaching of persuasive genre had produced change in the students' capabilities and attitude in relation to persuasive text. The results of this study generally support the educational theory that text genres can be explicitly and purposefully taught to language learners. This view has significant implications in light of the increasing ethnic, cultural, and linguistic diversity of populations. Text genres can be explicitly taught to students and other societal members so that they may understand and use sanctioned text genres. This knowledge empowers language learners and users to critically and actively participate in their societies.
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