A rhetorical analysis approach to English for academic purposes
Keywords:Spanish EFL writers, transfer, impersonalization strategies, English for Academic Purposes
AbstractBoth English for Academic Purposes (EAP) and English for Specific Purposes have advanced from the exploration of lexico-grammatical features during the 1980s and 1990s toward a thicker language description which includes not only lexico-grammatical features but also studies of genre-rhetorical features and of the social practices which shape academic texts in different disciplines (Berkenkotter, Huckin and Ackerman, 1991). These latter studies have tended to focus on the conventions particular to specific discourse communities. However, as Bhatia (2002) has pointed out, there is significant overlap in such genres as research abstracts and introduction sections and perhaps in textbook language as well. This paper addresses an area of overlap in the academic writing of Spanish university students in English: the construction of authorial voice by through the use of impersonalization strategies. The analysis presented here shows that Spanish students transfer rhetorical conventions from Spanish into English, particularly in the case of the we strategy and, in the writing of more advanced students, the se passive strategy.
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