Promoting discipline-specific genre competence with corpus-based genre analysis activities

Jihua Dong, Xiaofei Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


This study explored the potential of integrating corpus-based and genre-based approaches to teaching rhetorical structures in a discipline-specific English as a Foreign Language (EFL) academic writing course at a university in China. The instructor and students first collaboratively compiled a specialized corpus consisting of the introduction sections of engineering research articles (RAs), which was subsequently annotated for rhetorical moves. A series of guided corpus-based genre analysis activities were then used to help the students understand the rhetorical structures of engineering RA introductions and the linguistic features associated with different rhetorical moves. The effectiveness of this pedagogical approach was evaluated with data triangulation across pre- and post-instruction questionnaires, interviews, students' reflective journals, and student-produced writing samples. Results showed that the integrated approach helped enhance the students’ genre knowledge and improve their genre-based writing skills. This study thus contributes evidence of the feasibility and effectiveness of corpus-based genre pedagogy in discipline-specific EFL contexts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)138-154
Number of pages17
JournalEnglish for Specific Purposes
StatePublished - Apr 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language


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