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Towards Genre-Based Approach to Writing Syllabus in Arab Tertiary Institutions

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Abstract: This paper investigates some challenges in the writing of English as a foreign language in the Arab world and proposes genre-based solutions to them. For the most part, these challenges are given impetus by the use of a writing syllabus that does not reflect recent developments into the linguistic theory such as contrastive rhetoric, discourse analysis, genre analysis, etc. In that connection, the paper advocates the view that learners writing problems can best be addressed by the adoption of the genre approach to writing because, unlike the existing structure-oriented curriculum, it introduces writing as an activity where the students can write with a communicative purpose rather than practicing it as an exercise in English grammar. An examination of the writing courses in four Arab universities has revealed that most of these courses are a mere exercise in the lexicon-grammatical structure of English. This has been argued to provide lip service to writing education at tertiary level.

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