ENGL 596O: Special Topics

Discourse Analysis (Spring 22): This course will introduce students to theories and methods for the analysis of discourse. The goal is to equip students with knowledge and exposure to a range of discourse analysis traditions, approaches, and techniques so that students can gain a comprehensive understanding of the field and draw from one or more of those to conduct discourse analysis on their own. Students will also be provided with multiple opportunities and hands-on practice to analyze and interpret different types of discourse data. The course, however, will focus particularly on spoken data in face-to-face interactions in L2 (ESL) learning/teaching contexts or classroom settings. Each class session will include lecture/discussion of course readings and a time to engage in practical discussion or use of methodological tools/issues (including data collection and data analysis).

Genre Theory and Pedagogy (Spring 23): Although the term genre is often associated with literary forms, its use has expanded to texts and social practices ranging from academic research articles to political blog posts. Applied linguists, rhetoricians, and language and writing teachers have increasingly turned to genre as an important concept in understanding the “stabilized-for-now” texts (in the broadest sense) that occur in response to recurring situations—texts that are often essential for participating in academic, public, and professional environments. 

In this course, we will explore contemporary genre theory and pedagogy, including questions such as how genres are created and changed over time, how genres function within and for communities, and how genres are learned and can be taught. We will draw upon various disciplinary perspectives from applied linguistics, rhetoric and composition, and education to study:

  • contemporary genre theory
  • research approaches to studying genres and the communities in which they are used
  • research into how genres are learned in classrooms and other environments
  • pedagogical approaches to facilitating genre learning and awareness in language and writing classrooms
Course Credits