Book: Genre Pedagogy Across the Curriculum
Chapter: Tackling a genre: situating SFL genre pedagogy in a new context
Systemic functional linguistics (SFL) has developed both detailed descriptions of common school genres as well as a theory for genre-based pedagogy. While these have sometimes been critiqued as rigid or static, the work presented here shows the adaptability of the SFL approach in research with primary-grade bilingual students in the U.S. Specifically, we modified a recount genre, common to reporting history and personal experience, in order to support students’ analytical responses to grade-appropriate literature. The paper first describes the features and learning goals of the context and how we presented the genre and supporting pedagogy. It then evaluates the approach, reporting evidence from student writing and classroom implementation to highlight some affordances and challenges that arose. Lastly, the paper identifies some considerations that may guide future work to implement genre-based writing instruction in other contexts in flexible and powerful ways. These include being clear about the purpose of the genre as a whole, writing prompts that support that purpose, and providing support for creating coherence across stages of the genre.