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Matching theoretical descriptions of discourse and practical applications to teaching: the case of causal metatext

AutorMoreno, Ana I.
Palabras claveEAP, task-based teaching, academic writing, discourse analysis, causal metatext, causal metadiscourse, cause-effect, causal relations, academic essays, student writing, academic textbooks, awareness-raising, coherence relations, language descriptions, academic genres
Fecha de publicación2003
CitaciónMoreno, A. I. (2003). Matching theoretical descriptions of discourse and practical applications to teaching: the case of causal metatext. English for Specific Purposes 22: 265-295.
ResumenMany recent task-based textbooks on academic writing include at least one unit which aims at teaching how to write a cause-and/or-effect analytical essay. Most of these units introduce tasks which focus on how to express causal relations. The present paper claims that, for these focus-on-form tasks to be useful for upper-intermediate to advanced EAP learners and adequate from a descriptive point of view, they should be based on comprehensive descriptions of this aspect of discourse as it behaves in the genre intended to be learned. The aim of the study is to show how adequate the language descriptions used in recent textbooks of this kind are to illustrate causal metatext in view of recent theoretical perspectives. The study compares the accounts of causal metatext given by a sample of 11 textbooks on academic writing to the results obtained from analysing the actual expression of 283 causal coherence relations drawn from a sample of 30 cause-and/or-effect essays. The results reveal that the textbook accounts examined often provide a narrow picture of how this area of language works in this specific subgenre. The paper suggests how these applied descriptions could be improved to offer a more adequate and presumably more helpful illustration of causal metatext in this subgenre. It also offers some clues as to how causal metatext could be introduced to the targeted students through an awareness-raising process.
DescripciónThis article was the runner-up to the Horowitz Prize for the best article in volume 22
Versión del editordoi:10.1016/S0889-4906(02)00021-2
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