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ERIC Number: EJ1123442
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-May
Pages: 23
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-2191-611X
On the Importance of a Genre-Based Approach in the Teaching of English for Medical Purposes
León Pérez, Isabel K.; Martín-Martín, Pedro
Language Learning in Higher Education, v6 n1 p95-117 May 2016
In experimental disciplinary fields such as medicine, the writing up of a research paper in English may represent a major hurdle, especially for inexperienced writers and users of EAL (English as an Additional Language), mainly due to a lack of familiarity with international discourse conventions. Despite the efforts of many EAP (English for Academic Purposes) researchers and practitioners to provide support for medical PhD students and novice scholars by carrying out studies on research writing, specific courses with an explicit pedagogical approach to the teaching of academic genres are still scarce. Moreover, it often happens that the only possibility of receiving training in writing skills is in the pre-clinical years, when the students are not yet experienced language users and when they lack both the genre conventions and the specialized subject knowledge for such a demanding task. In this article, we offer our view of a genre-driven pedagogy and its practical applications in an EMP (English for Medical Purposes) classroom with the ultimate aim of helping students to publish their medical papers in international (English-language) journals. Our genre-based teaching approach consists in a prior discussion with students about the socio-cultural context in which a particular academic genre occurs. This process of discovery of the social circumstances that surround a specific genre can help them understand more readily its communicative purpose. We believe that a second stage should be the explicit teaching of functions and language structures of archetypal academic texts, initially in a highly controlled fashion, and later on a freer basis, but always using reference papers for illustration and comparison. If learners are more aware of the rhetorical strategies preferred by the members of their disciplinary communities, they may feel more confident as EAL writers about the rhetorical options they can choose depending on the context and type of audience they are addressing.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A