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Volume 14 Number 1, Spring 2017, Pages 1-210 PDF Download

An Examination of Written Genres in English Language Textbooks in Japan

    Hideo Watanabe

Drawing on a systemic functional linguistics genre paradigm, this article examines model writing texts in two types of English teaching and learning materials for high school students in Japan: public and commercial textbooks. A corpus of 73 texts was created. This article aims to identify what genres are provided as model texts to teach and learn English writing in these textbooks. It further aims to identify the schematic structures of the genres identified. It was found that, in the commercial textbooks, only a limited range of genres was provided while, in the public textbooks, a variety of genres such as Information reports, Everyday procedures and Sequential explanations was included. In relation to text structures, different ways of constructing the Argument stage in argumentative genre texts were found in the two types of textbooks. Pedagogical implications for English writing instruction in Japanese high schools are suggested.

Keywords: systemic functional linguistics, genre, schematic structure, intercultural rhetoric, high school textbooks, second language writing.