Teaching Writing Process Analysis

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Research on teaching writing in a second language was initiated in the late 1960s, and most early efforts were centered on tech- niques for teaching writing. These efforts led to the process approach, which helps students to work through several stages of the writing process. Later, more attention was paid to the nature of writing in various situations. This then brought popularity to the genre approach, which focuses on mod- els and key features of texts written for a particular purpose. In the process approach, a teacher typically has students follow the steps of prewriting, writing, revising, and editing before achieving the final product, and this sequence teaches students how to write. In the genre approach, samples of a specific
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What are the merits and problems of the genre approach to teaching writing? 5. How can the genre approach best be applied? Definition of the Genre Approach to Teaching Writing
Since the mid-1980s, considerable attention has been paid to the genre approach to teaching writing. In terms of writing in a second language, The Routledge Encyclopedia of Language Teaching and Learning has defined the genre approach as “a framework for language instruction” (Byram, 2004, p. 234) based on examples of a particular genre. The genre framework supports students’
34 writing with generalized, systematic guiding principles about how to produce meaning- ful passages.
But first, what is a genre? Swales (1990) identified a genre as “a class of communicative events, the members of which share some set of communicative purposes” (p. 58). His definition offers the basic idea that there are certain conventions or rules which are generally associated with a writer’s purpose. For example, personal letters tell us about [their writers’] private stories, film reviews analyze movies for po- tential viewers, and police reports describe what happened. Most genres use conven- tions related to communicative purposes; a personal letter starts with a cordial question in a friendly mood because its purpose is to maintain good relationships with friends, and an argument essay emphasizes its thesis since it aims at making an
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Even though the final stage of editing addressed some mechanical features of language, they were mainly concerned with the skills of processing ideas like plan- ning and drafting. Furthermore, the process approach has a very restricted view of writ- ing, in that the approach presumes that writing proficiency takes place only with the support of the repeated exercise of the same writing procedures. Although it is obvious that the amounts of pre-writing necessary for writing a personal letter and for creating an academic research paper are different, in the process model, the practice of writing is identical regardless of what the topic is and who the writer or the reader is (Badger & White, 2000, pp. 154-155).
In the genre approach, on the other hand, the knowledge of language is inti- mately attached to a social purpose, and more focus is on the viewpoint of the reader than on that of the writer. Writing is mostly viewed as the students’ reproduction of text based on the genre offered by the teacher. It is also believed that learning takes place through imitation and explora- tion of different kinds of models. Accord- ingly, learners should be exposed to many examples of the same genre to develop
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