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"The linguistic and the contextual in applied genre analysis: The case of the company audit report.”

Genres Presentation
by

Danielle Smorol

on 6 November 2013

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Transcript of "The linguistic and the contextual in applied genre analysis: The case of the company audit report.”

Flowerdew and Wan
The linguistic and the contextual in applied genre analysis: The case of the company audit report.”
The Audit Report
•Genre studies is important to the field of ESP
•Each school has something to offer the study of genre; a focus on the ethnographic dimension can tell us more about a genre in certain situations than a narrower linguistically focused analysis can, and this knowledge may be more valuable to ESP practitioners. (79)
Claiming Centrality
1.Focused genre analysis (Swales and Bhatia)
The Study Design
Ethnographic Findings
Major Findings
Theoretical/Pedagogical Implications
Connections
As a discipline, what do we make of templates?
How do we explain templates or make sense of them within a rhetorical context, within genre studies, etc?
Concepts
Opening the Gap
•So far, most ESP research has focused on academic genres rather than workplace genres
•ESP has not been doing enough to consider the contextual alongside the linguistic functional/structural
Research Questions
•How are communicative purposes achieved through the rhetorical structuring of audit reports and language realizations? (81).
•How much, if any, original writing is involved in the audit report? (79)
•What is the context of the genre’s production? What other genres are involved in this text’s production (such as the use of templates)? (79)
2.Ethnographic methods
Corpus: 25 audit reports, supplemented with 8 additional examples of QUALIFIED OPINION and DISCLAIMER OF OPINION from same source as original 25 reports
a.Participant observation of auditing process
b.In-depth interviews with 4 auditors and the technical manager
c.Professional accountant as specialist informant
d.Triangulation: observation, interview, textual analysis
e.Participant verification – expert informant checked validity of findings and interpretation of data
Templates are used extensively.
If original writing occurs, it is in the QUALIFIED OPINION and DISCLAIMER OF OPINION moves.
Most audit reports can be completed by simply replacing the name of the company, the date, and the page numbers referenced within the template.
Auditors must write the reports in English.
Auditors mostly speak Mandarin and Cantonese while working on the report.
The technical jargon is spoken in English even if the conversation is happening primarily in Mandarin or Cantonese.
Structural/Linguistic Findings
Their findings connect to New Rhetorical theories of genre systems and demonstrate that contextual knowledge can provide a fuller understanding of genres (90)
Trainers should:
teach spoken management communication skills used in the workplace,
team teach with someone proficient in the auditing aspect of things,
visit workplaces to find out about various frameworks, roles, processes of writing, and hear languages that are spoken in the workplace,
observe professionals with authority and develop context-related learning materials,
work alongside other trainers who speak different languages, and
provide internship opportunities for students.
What do we teach our students about templates?
The audit report as a
genre that is “stabilized for now”
Questions
The BF moves express a warrant + claim:
the warrant is a particular circumstance
may take the form of a past tense narrative
verbs used “unable to assess” “unable to satisfy”
Indirect discourse (face-saving):
expressed in terms of possibility or conditionality
no direct agency
don’t implicate the auditors or the company
Power and ideology in audit reports
Verbs in environmental reports versus audit reports
Genres “are dynamic rhetoric forms that are developed from actors’ responses to recurrent situations and that serve to stabilize experience and give it coherence and meaning. Genres change over time in response to their users’ sociocognitive needs” (Berkenkotter and Huckin 286).
Bawarshi and Reiff note that, “cognition is not distributed evenly within genre systems, nor is it distributed arbitrarily” (92).
Mason and Mason suggest that, “The pervasive use of material processes grammatically expressed by actional verbs in a variety of submoves on the corpus suggests that this type of process is effective in providing the facts that readers require to be influenced by the company’s green ideaology . . .
by presenting facts that can be independently verified, companies will be more effective in influencing and changing their audiences’ minds”
(497).
Features
participant verification
triangulation
situatedness
template
Summary of Credible Actions Taken (SCAT)
Address Responsibilities (AR)
Basis for Disclaimer of Opinion/Basis for Qualified Opinion (BF)
Face-saving
Audit reports are always written in English.
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