The Effectiveness of Using the Genre Approach to Enhance the Writing Skills of Grade Seven Students' Writing of Exposition Text Type
The British University in Dubai (BUiD)
Recent research in second language writing suggests that the genre based writing approach may help different students to develop their literacy skills (Martin and Rose 2012). Therefore, this study investigates the effectiveness of using the genre based approach to enhance the writing skills of adolescent Arab learners in the UAE (12-13 years). The genre focused upon is the argumentative essay embodied in the exposition text type. The instructional intervention originated at the Sydney School of Linguistics as explained by Martin & Rose (2012). The study also uses Feez’s (2002) model referred to as the Genre-Based Approach. In this approach the students are explicitly taught the linguistic and text structural features of the target text type. The study also examines the students' attitude towards the genre based writing course. This research employs a mixed method approach using both quantitative and qualitative methods. It uses a quasi-experimental pre-test- post-test design to examine the effectiveness of the genre based approach. The questionnaire measures the students’ attitudes towards the genre based writing course. The statistical analysis of the students’ genre writing performance level shows that students significantly improved from the pre-test to the post-test due to the genre based writing intervention. This improvement is a direct result of the explicit instruction that helped the students construct meaning in this genre. The analysis of the questionnaire regarding the students’ attitudes towards the genre based writing course shows that the target students have a positive attitude towards the genre based writing approach. The approach not only raises their genre awareness but it also provides the students with the scaffolding help they need to write more valued texts. This study highlights the pedagogical implications of using the genre based approach. It emphasizes the role of the teacher in explicitly teaching the structural and linguistic features of the target genre and the target text type to the students. It also sheds light on the steps the teacher should follow such as: building context, modelling, scaffolding, deconstructing the text, and designing appropriate materials. It also adds to research on genre pedagogy and to research on the second language acquisition of adolescent Arab UAE students in cycle two.
DISSERTATION WITH DISTINCTION
genre approach, writing skills, Arab learners, United Arab Emirates (UAE)