Complex Genre-based Methodology for Teaching Academic Writing

Document Type : Original Article


School of Foreign Languages, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia


Contemporary EAP research and teaching academics constantly elaborate new and better methods and re-evaluate those in use to facilitate students’ academic growth. The article considers some options for teaching EAP to undergraduates highlighting the results of the experimental study conducted in the context of higher education in Russia and motivated by the researchers’ perceptions about university level students' difficulties in acquiring proficiency in academic English. The data for this paper comes from 192 undergraduates’ research project proposals. The approach offered is largely in line with traditions of the genre analysis and combines some novel features and conventional elements of the genre, product and process approaches. The innovations imply the use of recurring pattern phrases which are presented as sets of structural templates grouped in genre-based functional categories and organised around the framework of the project proposal.  The article analyses applicability and functionality of this complex methodology developed by the authors relying on criterion-referenced measurement of students’ writing performance by independent raters using analytic rating scales for assessment. The benefits of the methodology under discussion largely pertain to improvement in academic style and text organisation, and a learner-centred approach adopted helps students develop their own models for step-by-step writing project proposals. The findings of this study can have implications for EAP teaching practice in NNS educational settings.