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European Centre for Modern Languages

Step 1: Planning

The materials in this section will help you to become more aware of the difference between everyday language and the language used in school as well as of the importance of language in subject learning. You will also find here a list of references if you want to read more.

4. Putting it into practice

  • The following tables are examples of the genres encountered in geography, history and science as well as illustrations of what the genre is used for. By a genre (or text type) is referred to established ways of doing, which are used to reach communicative goals.
  • Every text type has a different goal, e.g. a news item, an instruction of use, opinion text, literature text, or a personal letter.
  • Genres are often multimodal: language, images, motion, colours, graphs etc
  • Different subjects use text types and genres which are typical to them

Table 1. Genres in geography…

Table 2. Genres in history…

Table 3. Genres in science…

Source: https://www.slideshare.net/didau/genres-in-geography-history-and-science


Exercise 1:

Try to work out a similar table of genres for mathematics

  • As a starting point you could use Morgan (1998), Marks and Mousley (1990), who use the ideas of Martin (1985, 1989), and 1) identify several genres that mathematicians would use and that, therefore, should be included in students’ repertoire of mathematical writing. These genres were:
    • Procedure: how something is done
    • Description: what some particular thing is like
    • Report: what an entire class of things is like
    • Explanation: reason why a judgement has been made
    • Exposition: arguments why a thesis has been produced

2) give concrete examples on the genres you identify. For example, what is it ‘to describe’ in math

  • Additional reading: Worded problems in math