The Use of Genre-Based Cycle with L1 Rhetorical Structure in L2 Writing Class: An Exploratory Study

Tzu-Shan Chang


This paper demonstrates the systemic functional approach (SFL) with the L1 rhetorical structure in a genre-based writing class and then examines the effectiveness of this study’s approach in developing Chinese EFL writers’ competence in writing argumentative essays. This EFL writing course follows the SFL approach, the genre-based cycle of teaching and learning, to provide students with repeated opportunities to practice literacy skills gained in previous cycles until they master different genres. The genre-based cycle formed the writing instruction along with the L1 rhetorical structure as a strategy; Chinese EFL sophomores (n = 44) were instructed in this writing class. Qualitative and quantitative data were collected: Interviews and ratings of students’ writing from two raters before and after the instruction. The results presented that most participants had made statistically significant progress in their writing competence, particularly in structuring paper. The incorporation of L1 rhetorical structure into the genre-based cycle offered participants a framework to organize their arguments in L2 writing. When EFL students’ home languages/cultures are treated as the resources within the context of a genre-based cycle, their prior knowledge of L1 rhetorical structure transits to more accurate construction of L2 essays.

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