Multimodal genre systems in EAP writing pedagogy: Reflecting on a needs analysis

Molle Daniella, Prior Paul

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article reports on a genre‐based needs analysis for a graduate course in English for academic purposes (EAP) at a large public U.S. university. In particular, it describes the theoretical reconceptualizations of genre analysis that the data provoked. Using ethnographic methods, an investigation of academic genres in several classrooms in three academic disciplines (civil and environmental engineering, architecture, and music) found three complexities that challenged the original premises of the needs analysis: (a) that academic genres existed in genre sets and systems that involved process and pedagogical genres as well as genres of disciplinary or academic presentation; (b) that genres were routinely multimodal in process and form; and (c) that the discursive character of particular texts was routinely quite hybrid. This article discusses and illustrates each of these findings and argues for understanding them as dimensions of multimodal genre systems.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)541-566
Number of pages26
JournalTESOL Quarterly
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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