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Bringing reality to the classroom: Exercises in intertextuality

Bremner, S and Costley, TJ (2018) 'Bringing reality to the classroom: Exercises in intertextuality.' English for Specific Purposes, 52. 1 - 12. ISSN 0889-4906

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Abstract

The ability to handle intertextual relations in email is an important component of workplace writing competence that is, for the most part, overlooked in business English classes because of a tendency to treat emails in classroom contexts as independent texts. This study reports on a series of email assignments that required students to read and process a collection of texts before composing emails themselves, with the aim of examining how students dealt with the demands made by the intertextual nature of workplace writing. The findings suggest that the management of multiple texts and their intertextual relations poses considerable challenges for student writers, specifically relating to the amount of information to include, the degree of explicitness needed in referring to other texts, and the management of the dialogue and writer-reader relationship. The study concludes that there is a need to demonstrate to students the centrality of intertextuality and the ways in which it contributes to the coherence of workplace communication. Students need to understand, too, that managing intertextuality is not simply a question of textual manipulation, but of understanding the communicative context and of considering how they want their relationship with the reader to develop.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: email; intertextuality; professional communication; student writing; task design
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Language and Linguistics, Department of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 16 May 2018 14:34
Last Modified: 05 Jul 2018 10:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/22026

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