Genre: An Approach on the Teaching of English

images english bookThe word ‘genre’ comes from The French (originally Latin) word for kind or class. The term genre was first introduced in the area of English as specific purpose (ESP) in 1981, in an ESP journal article by Elaine Tarone and her colleagues on the language of scientific reports (Paltridge, 2001, p.2). In addition, Mahwah (2002) explains that genre as a mean for analyzing text has become a means for better pragmatic and linguistic understanding of texts It also supplies possible pedagogical applications. It devoted to genre pedagogy adds to pedagogical thinking because it stretches notions of what can be done in the reading and writing classroom. Further explanation from Chaldler ( 2005) that term genre is widely used in rhetoric, literary theory, media theory, and more recently linguistics, to refer a distinctive type of the texts.

From the description above a conclusion that can be drawn is that genre has the strong relation with the text. What is text? Texts are made of words. Words are around us. When words are used to make meaning the text is created (Rajan, 2003: v). So the text that we use in this research refers to Encyclopedia Britanica (2008) which says that text is a unit of connected speech or writing , especially composed of more than one sentence, that form a cohesive form.

There are thousands of texts around us. The text can be classified into genre through three characteristics, they are purpose of communication, organization structure and language features. The purpose of communication or social function is the reasons why we speak or write or create the text. Organization structure of the text or generic structure is the text organization or text arrangement. Language features or lexical grammar that is such things as the grammar, vocabulary and connectors that we use.

Further information from Lin (2006) says that genre refer to more specific classes of texts, such as newspaper reports or recipes. Furthermore Partridge (2001) genre describe types of activities such as personal letter, advertisement students essay and the term of text type represent group of text which are similar in linguistic form such as Procedure, anecdote, description. However, the term of genre in this proposal is means type of the text. This term has been widely used in the recent English curriculum in Indonesia. The definition of Genre or type of the text in this proposal refers to definition given by Martin, cited in Partridge (2001, p. 11) that is a staged, goal oriented, purposeful activity in which speakers engage as members of a culture.

There are twelve genres or types of the texts should be taught at Senior High School, they are recount, report, discussion, explanation, Exposition analytical, exposition hortatory, news item, anecdote, narrative, procedure, description and review (depdiknas, 2005)

One widely accepted classroom application of teaching English using the genre-based approach is the “teaching and learning cycle” or also referred to as “the curriculum cycle”. This cycle consists of four main stages; they are building knowledge of field, modeling of text, join construction of text and independent construction of text. It aims to provide support for learners as they go through each stage of the cycle. The following elaboration of the teaching and learning cycle is adapted from Paltridge (2001).

1. Building Knowledge of the Field (BKoF)

This stage is the preparation stage. So, the first activity is to prepare student to get into the new topic of the text. Suppose that the focus genre is narrative, students should identify the topic of the text, whether the text is about Lancang Kuning or Malin Kundang. The next step is to give students the experience about the content of the text. The activities can be in form of questions and answers about the narrative texts which have been read by students. Because this is the preparation stage, teachers should enlarge the students vocabulary as well as to make students interested in reading the text.

2. Modeling of Text (MoT)

In this stage teachers give example of the text. For spoken cycle this stage is used to develop listening, so the activities are listening comprehension. In written cycle the activities are reading comprehension. Procedural knowledge or text organization is introduced in this stage.

3. Joint Construction of the Text (JCoT)

Self confidence is very important in developing language skills, so in this stage the teachers build students self confidence in productive skills either speaking or writing. For this purpose, the teachers give opportunity to students to cooperate in pair or in group. So that they can o learn from others. The example activities for spoken cycle are role play, games, interview, discussion and debate. For written cycle can be collaborative writing (Brain storming, organizing idea, drafting, revising, editing)

4. Independent Construction of the Text (ICoT)

At the end of the process of teaching and learning the individual achievement should be measured. So one of the purpose of this stage is to know haw far the students master the lesson individually and students must have the responsibility for their own learning. The teachers also have to try to encourage students’ creativity in this stage, because in this stage for spoken cycle each student should have monologue in focused genre and in the written cycle students should produce the text of focused genre. (Source:

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5 responses to “Genre: An Approach on the Teaching of English

  1. sangat bermanfaat,. thanks

  2. Blog yang bagus. I am jealous!

  3. aris purwantoro

    pak saya butuh materi-materi pembelajaran bahasa inggris yang bernuansa islami, terutama untuk murid SMP? mungkin sampeyan punya referensi?

  4. aris purwantoro

    pak saya mau tanya bagaimana mengakomodasi sikap, minat, bakat, gaya belajar 40 siswa yang berbeda dlm pembelajaran?

    • Komen yang menarik, menunjukkan bahwa saudara adalah orang lapangan, memahami kondisi real di kelas.
      Setiap anak, pasti punya karakteristik tersendiri. Tidak perlu ada pengelompokan, karena akan mengurangi nilai sosialitas dalam aspek character building. Kalaupun dikelompokkan, hanya pada peran bukan group-nya. Biasanya secara umum pakai acuan sifat introvert dan extrovert saja. Masing-masing punya potensi. Ada yang berpotensi behind the scene ada juga yang suka on the stage performance.
      Demikian pendapat saya.
      Sukses selalu

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