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Employing a Genre-based Approach to Teach Written Communication in Italian as a Foreign Language

Montera, Chiara (2021) Employing a Genre-based Approach to Teach Written Communication in Italian as a Foreign Language. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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In foreign language classes, the teaching of oral and interpersonal communication usually plays the most prominent role, not only because interpersonal communication is critical to supporting social interactions, but also because most instructors lack sufficient training to confidently teach written and presentational communication. My dissertation seeks to counter this deficit by proposing the Genre-Based Approach (GBA) as a viable pedagogy for teaching written presentational communication. GBA, deeply rooted in Halliday’s Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL), is about teaching learners how to make meaning in socio-cultural situated contexts by showing students how various genres are organized, how the text develops from beginning to end, and how each stage of the text communicates purposeful meaning. Genre provides a context that allows teachers to integrate the learning of language simultaneously with informational content in a socio-cultural context.
With my intervention I aimed to improve the presentational communication in writing (ACTFL Standard #1) in students of Italian in their third semester of instruction employing GBA instruction. In this study I used a pre- and post-instruction assessment to investigate the efficacy of the GBA in increasing students’ awareness of texts and genre, and the ability to produce a culturally informed text. The genre I used was the biography, in an instructional unit about Italian Art. The students’ pre- and post-instruction biographies were assessed through a rubric that considered content, organization, vocabulary and language use. I also investigated the reactions to the employment of GBA in both instructor and students through pre- and post- instruction surveys.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Montera, Chiarachiara.montera@pitt.eduCHM138
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairDonato,
Committee MemberRainey,
Committee MemberDenman,
Date: 31 August 2021
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 2 June 2021
Approval Date: 31 August 2021
Submission Date: 26 July 2021
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 81
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Instruction and Learning
Degree: EdD - Doctor of Education
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: GBA, genre-based approach, genre pedagogy, genre awareness, genre, Italian writing, written presentational communication, writing in foreign language, Italian.
Date Deposited: 31 Aug 2021 17:53
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2021 17:53


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