Link to the University of Pittsburgh Homepage
Link to the University Library System Homepage Link to the Contact Us Form


Troyan, Francis J. (2013) INVESTIGATING A GENRE-BASED APPROACH TO WRITING IN AN ELEMENTARY SPANISH PROGRAM. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

Primary Text

Download (15MB) | Preview


The present study investigated the implementation of a genre-based approach to the instruction of writing in a fourth grade Spanish classroom. The instructional intervention explicitly taught students the ways of meaning in the touristic landmark description genre. Statistical analyses of students’ writing scores revealed that students’ writing performance significantly improved in terms of genre-specific features from the pretest to the posttest. In addition, findings revealed that a genre-based scoring instrument captured more change in students' writing than a performance-based rubric. Close descriptive analysis of the pretest and posttest writing of three students corroborated the statistical data and further depicted the linguistic variation in student writing in the study. A three-item student survey was administered at the end of the study. Student responses revealed that levels of genre awareness varied according to writing
performance. Through interviews and fieldnotes, the teacher’s experience with the approach was described. The effect of the genre-based intervention was evident in her heightened awareness of the role of genre in developing students’ academic literacy in Spanish and in her planning and delivery of instruction in other classes. In addition, the teacher highlighted that target language use was a challenge in the novel approach. However, examination of her use of Spanish revealed that the use of English occurred in moments when 1) a task was new to the students, 2) the teacher was co-constructing a text in Spanish with students, and 3) the teacher was assessing student knowledge. The present study demonstrates that explicit instruction in the ways of meaning in a particular genre positively influenced the quality of students’ writing in that genre. In other words, genre matters in the development of academic literacy in the foreign language classroom. Given this importance of genre, approaches to instruction and assessment that expand the goals articulated in the National Standards (2006) and explicitly deconstruct the linguistic features of genre in an interactive way are discussed. Future research on genre based instruction and assessment in K-12 foreign language education is explored.


Social Networking:
Share |


Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Troyan, Francis
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee MemberCrawford, Patricia A.pcrawfor@pitt.eduPCRAWFOR
Committee MemberGlisan, Eileen
Committee MemberRosenbusch, Marcia
Committee ChairDonato, Richarddonato@pitt.eduDONATO
Date: 13 May 2013
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 28 February 2013
Approval Date: 13 May 2013
Submission Date: 30 April 2013
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 223
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Instruction and Learning
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: foreign language education; genre-based pedagogy; L2 writing standards-based instruction; writing assessment; systemic functional linguistics
Date Deposited: 13 May 2013 18:01
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:12


Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item