Proponents of genre pedagogy claim that academic writing can be learned by means of explicit instruction and systematic modelling on the distinctive features of a particular genre. However, genre pedagogy and its inherent deductive nature have been called into question. Many critics have argued that the genre-based deductive approach imposes rigid writing forms on students, which may constrain their writing voice, discursive diversity, and creativity. Genre pedagogy has also been criticized for instructing static textual features, which reinforces the norm of authorized power to EFL learners. While some researchers assume that deductive instruction can stimulate more learning transfer, others argue that the automaticity of learning transfer does not take place easily. The purposes of this study are to explore the effectiveness of genre pedagogy by looking at: how topic similarity/difference affects EFL writers’ learning transfer; the writing elements which are transferable through model writing (implicit learning) and genre-based instruction (explicit learning) by EFL writers; and the EFL writers’ strategies of learning transfer. Using a case study approach this research found that explicit genre pedagogy encourages more, and more stable, learning transfers than implicit learning. Moreover, the stigma that genre pedagogy reifies linguistic features of texts and accepts the discursive norms is rebutted. The findings suggest that explicit genre instruction does constrain writers’ voice but enables EFL writers to critically negotiate genre power.
The Asian Journal of Applied Linguistics, Vol. 5, No. 1, pp. 46-59