Article published in:Australian Applied Language Studies
Edited by Tim F. McNamara
[Australian Review of Applied Linguistics 10:2] 1987
► pp. 163–181
An overview of the genre-based approach to the teaching of writing in Australia
A significant educational development that has occurred in Australia in recent years has been the emergence of the genre-based approach to the teaching of writing. The theoretical basis of this approach lies in the systemic, functional model of language developd by M.A.K. Halliday and others. Thus it is an approach to writing which focuses on the relationship between written texts and the contexts in which written texts are produced.This paper traces the development of the genrebased approach. It discusses the meaning of the term “genre”, and describes the contribution of people such as Kress, Martin, Rothery and Christie to the theoretical development of the approach. It also describes some of the educational programs that have been developed to implement the genrebased approach.It is argued in this paper that the most significant contribution of the genre-based approach to writing is the development of an explicit understanding of the role of language in the educational context and a linguistic description of the major genres that children are expected to learn as they learn to write. It is in this area, that is, making the role of language explicit, that the genre-based approach differs most from other approaches such as the “growth model” of English teaching and “process writing” which have been influential in recent years.
Published online: 01 January 1987
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