Education policy for English language teaching in Indonesia has undergone several changing. The changing aims at improving the outcomes of English language teaching itself . In 2004, the Ministry of National Education has decided to bring in a new curriculum in all subject areas, including English. The curriculum was known as Competence Based Curriculum or 2004 Curriculum which recommended a new approach that is the Genre Based Approach.
This new approach has been implemented for four years, however many English teachers in Indonesia are still in doubt, or lack knowledge and not familiar with it. Because of this reason it is necessary to give explanation what Genre Based Approach is, and the procedures to implement it.
1. Nature of Genre
The word genre itself comes from The French (originally Latin) word for kind or class. The term genre was first introduced in the area of English as specific purpose (ESP) in 1981, in an ESP journal article by Elaine Tarone and her colleagues on the language of scientific reports (Paltridge, 2001, p.2). In addition, Mahwah (2002) explains that genre as means for analyzing text has become a means for better pragmatic and linguistic understanding of texts It also supplies possible pedagogical applications. It devoted to genre pedagogy adds to pedagogical thinking because it stretches notions of what can be done in the reading and writing classroom. Further explanation from Chaldler ( 2005) that term genre is widely used in rhetoric, literary theory, media theory, and more recently linguistics, to refer a distinctive type of the texts.
From the description above a conclusion that can be drawn is that genre has the strong relation with the text. What is text? Texts are made of words. Words are around us. When words are used to make meaning the text is created (Rajan, 2003: v). So the text that we use in this research refers to Encyclopedia Britanica (2008) which says that text is a unit of connected speech or writing , especially composed of more than one sentence, that form a cohesive form.
There are thousands of texts around us. The text can be classified into genre through three characteristics, they are purpose of communication, organization structure and language features. The purpose of communication or social function is the reasons why we speak or write or create the text. Organization structure of the text or generic structure is the text organization or text arrangement. Language features or lexical grammar that is such things as the grammar, vocabulary and connectors that we use.
Further information from Lin (2006) says that genre refer to more specific classes of texts, such as newspaper reports or recipes. Furthermore Partridge (2001) genre describe types of activities such as personal letter, advertisement students essay and the term of text type represent group of text which are similar in linguistic form such as Procedure, anecdote, description. However, the term of genre in this proposal is means type of the text. This term has been widely used in the recent English curriculum in Indonesia. The definition of Genre or type of the text in this proposal refers to definition given by Martin , cited in Partridge (2001, p. 11) that is a staged, goal oriented, purposeful activity in which speakers engage as members of a culture.
There are twelve genre or type of the texts should be taught at Senior High School, they are recount, report, discussion, explanation, Exposition analytical, exposition hortatory, news item, anecdote, narrative procedure description and review.(depdiknas, 2005)
2. Genre Based Approach
To conduct the classroom activity in the process of teaching and learning based on genre, Genre Based approach is used. Yan (2005) says that this approach has become popular since the 1980s along with the notion that student writers could benefit from studying different types of written texts. According to Lin (2006) in Genre-based approach, teaching and learning focuses on the understanding and production of selected genres of texts. Teaching and learning around text genres has become increasingly influential in main stream ELT in a number of situations, including ”primary, secondary, tertiary, professional and community teaching contexts “ involving native speakers of English as well as ESL and EFL learners”. Furthermore explanation from Gao (2007) says that genre approach shows a powerful response to the deficit of process models.
To begin with, genre-based approaches start with the whole text as the unit in focus rather than the sentence. The focus on the whole texts implies that there is higher level of order and patterning in language than just in sentence-grammar at the level of discourse organization and meta-patterning of grammatical features. Genre –based approaches emphasize that this higher order must be attended to for effective language use. The specification of genres to be taught is based on the classification used by many systemic functional linguists, especially in application to classroom teaching of English (Lin, 2006).
The rational why genre based approach developed in Australia was Australian theorist, Halliday. Martin, concern about the exclusivity perpetuated by traditional approaches (Gee, 2005). Furthermore Gee adds that for the Australian theorists above, genre represented a stage or goal – oriented social process: “genre are referred to as social process because members of culture interact with each other to achieve them; as goal oriented, because they have evolved to get things done; as staged because it is usually takes more than one step for participants to achieved their goals”. The other rational for adopting genre based approach is that, genre based approach facilitates clear links to the student’ purposes for writing beyond the writing classroom (Lin, 2006).
To teach genres, the proponents of Genre Based Approach propose the framework of teaching, what they call as Curriculum cycle.
3. Curriculum cycle
In the classroom, the activities of genre approach looks like a cycle or wheel, so that it is known as the curriculum cycle, (Gee, 2005). The cycle consists of a number of stages. Each stages has special objectives and activities, such as the cycle described by Martin and colleagues in Chappell (2004) is as follows:
1. The field- building activities: that is the aimed at immersing the learners in the context of culture and social purpose of spoken text, their temporal and spatial context, the roles and relationships of the related components, and the role of the language within the activity, as well as medium chosen.
2. The text modeling and a deconstruction of the text. This involves analysis of the rhetorical staging on the spoken text, the lexical and grammatical resources used.
3. The joint production of similar spoken text is carried out by the teachers and learners
4. The independent construction of the text by the learners themselves.
One widely accepted classroom application of teaching English using the genre-based approach is the “teaching and learning cycle” or also referred to as “the curriculum cycle”. This cycle consists of four main stages; they are building knowledge of field, modelling of text, join construction of text and independent construction of text. It aims to provide support for learners as they go through each stage of the cycle. The following elaboration of the teaching and learning cycle is adapted from Paltridge (2001).
1. Building knowledge of field
This stage focuses on building up a shared experience and cultural context about the topic of text. The interactions mostly happen between teacher and class, and students and students. The focus is on the content information and the language of the genre of the text that is going to be used. It particularly focuses on controlling relevant vocabularies and grammatical patterns of the particular genre.
2. Modelling of text
This stage focuses on introducing particular genre though a model of text that deals with the field that the students have already explored in the stage of building knowledge of field. Through the model text, teacher and class work together exploring the cultural context, social function, schematic structure, and linguistics features of the text using spoken language to focus on written text.
3. Join construction of text
In this stage, when students are already familiar with all of the features of a particular genre, teacher and students work together to construct texts that are similar to the text that have already being learnt in the previous stage. In constructing the text, attention should be paid to the schematic structure, linguistic features and knowledge of the field of the text.
4. Independent construction of text
In this final stage, students are ready to work independently to produce their own text within the choosen genre. Teacher can let students to work on their own. In other words, teacher should minimize their support, scaffolding and interference on students learning process. It will provides students with the opportunity to show their ability to create a text that has schematic structure, linguistic features and knowledge of the field in accordance with the genre that is being studied.
Derewianka, cited in Lin (2006) describes that each lesson unit or cycle has its central focus a chosen text type or genre, and consists of a fixed sequence of stages. The descriptions of the cycle vary in minor ways, but four phases essential for developing control of a genre may be identified, namely:
1. Context Exploration
Cycle begins with context exploration, referring to the possible contexts of situation in which the chosen text- type or genre may be used. The function is like pre-listening/reading/speaking/writing phase that has come to be typical in communicative language teaching. From the teacher’s point of view, the function of this stage is to establish the learners’ ‘actual development’ or starting point.
2. Text Exploration based on Model Texts
The aims of this stages are to familiarize the learners with the target text-type or genre, and to draw attention to organizational and linguistic features commonly found in texts belong to it. The activities can be ‘communicative’ activities, such as the re-assembling of ‘jigsaw’ texts or information gap
Figure 1: The Curriculum Cycle
3. Joint Construction of a Text
In this stage the model text is exposed, and making use of the knowledge and awareness gained from the exploration of the text. The student work with the teacher to construct their own texts (spoken or written) in the text-type or genre. In the case of writing, the texts may go through a few rounds of drafting, editing, and re-drafting. The model texts continue to provide object-regulation, while others-regulation come not only from the teacher but also from other students, as more expert peers guide others, or as students refer each other to features in the models, and to ideas raised in the text exploration stage.
If the objective of teaching to develop speaking, there should be much oral interaction, its nature and intention is different from that of most forms of communicative language teaching. Where the interactive activities in the latter are often designed to simulate real life interaction, directed at providing opportunities for talking in the language, the talk here is about using language, and is focused on a collaborative effort to learn to accomplish a purpose in the language.
4. Individual Application
The last stage in the Cycle, individual application, as the name suggests, requires learners to work individually and independently, for example, in the case of writing, to produce individual essays. Ideally, this is carried out only after the students have successfully produced a jointly constructed text or understanding of the text.
Both Martin and Partridge agree that the teaching and learning activities at the first stage of the curriculum cycle, Building Knowledge of the Field, aimed at immersing students in the context of culture, social purpose of the target text, controlling relevant vocabularies and grammatical pattern. However each of them put different emphasis on their view of the Building Knowledge of the Text stage. According to Derewianka, the activities involved at this first stage are functioned as the pre activities such as pre-listening, reading, speaking and writing. He urges that the first step which he calls Context exploration, functioned as actual development, or as the starting point. For Partridge the core idea of all activities at this is the interaction between teacher and class or students and students.
For the second stage, modeling of the text, both Partridge and Derewianka share similar opinion that this stage focuses on introducing the target text through a model of text by exploring the text’s social function, text organization and linguistic features. Martin points out that the activities involve analysis of rhetorical staging on the text, the lexical and grammatical resources used. Derewianka proposes the use communicative activities such as re-assembling of jigsaw text or information gap.
At the third stage, Martin, Partridge and Derewianka agree that teacher and students work together to construct the text of the focused genre. Partridge stresses that in constructing the text, attention should be paid to the schematic structure, linguistic features and knowledge of the field of the text. Derewianka adds that In the case of writing, the texts may go through a few rounds of drafting, editing, and re-drafting. If the objective of teaching to develop speaking, there should be much oral interaction, its nature and intention is different from that of most forms of communicative language teaching. Where the interactive activities in the latter are often designed to simulate real life interaction, directed at providing opportunities for talking in the language, the talk here is about using language, and is focused on a collaborative effort to learn to accomplish a purpose in the language.
At the last stage, referred as Independent Construction (Martin and Partridge) or Individual Application (Derewianka), students work independently and individually to produce the chosen genre. In the other word, at this stage, each student produces the text, as addition, derewianka stresses, it can be done ideally if the students have successfully produced a jointly constructed text or understanding of the text.
The stages of curriculum cycles explained by Martin, Partridge and Derewinka above present the material of teaching integratedly, therefore there is no explanation in which stages skills reading and listening developed. Because of this reason it is necessary to explain the stages which are suitable to be applied at Senior High School in Indonesia. The stages are implemented in two cycle, spoken cycle and written cycle. Spoken cycle especially to develop listening and speaking, and written cycle to develop reading and writing. The stages of each cycle is as follow:
1. Building Knowledge of the field
This stage is the preparation stage. So, the first activity is to prepare student to get into the new topic of the text. Suppose that the focus genre is narrative, students should identify the topic of the text, whether the text is about Lancang Kuning or Malin Kundang. The next step is to give students the experience about the content of the text. The activities can be in form of questions and answers about the narrative texts which have been read by students. Because this is the preparation stage, teachers should enlarge the students vocabulary as well as to make students interested in reading the text.
2. Modeling of text
In this stage teachers give example of the text. For spoken cycle this stage is used to develop listening, so the activities are listening comprehension. In
written cycle the activities are reading comprehension. Procedural knowledge or text organization are introduced in this stage.
3. Joint construction of the text
Self confidence is very important in developing language skills, so in this stage the teachers build students self confidence in productive skills either speaking or writing. For this purpose, the teachers give opportunity to students to cooperate in pair or in group. So that they can o learn from others. The example activities for spoken cycle are role play, games, interview, discussion and debate. For written cycle can be collaborative writing (Brain storming, organizing idea, drafting, revising, editing)
4. Independent Construction
At the end of the process of teaching and learning the individual achievement should be measured. So one of the purpose of this stage is to know haw far the students master the lesson individually and students must have the responsibility for their own learning. The teachers also have to try to encourage students’ creativity in this stage, because in this stage for spoken cycle each student should have monologue in focused genre and in the written cycle students should produce the text of focused genre.