The crux of the genre: Joint Construction

This post presents a useful description of the ‘joint construction’ phase of collaborative writing, and the importance of scaffolding. I do sometimes worry however, that when I’m doing this with a class I give them a little bit too much support and appropriate their essay …

Nigel Caplan

In part 3 of my series of posts on genre-based (ESL) writing pedagogy, we arrive at the heart of the Teaching/Learning Cycle. In the first stage, the teacher guided students to analyze, or deconstruct, the target genre for its organization, purpose, and language. Now, students collaboratively write a new text in that genre. Although there are different ways to do this collaborative writing, the Australian literature in particular focuses on one activity: teacher-led, whole-class Joint Construction.

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One thought on “The crux of the genre: Joint Construction

  1. Thanks for picking up my post, John. You raise an interesting point about appropriation. In my experience and in my research, I’ve seen a lot more joint ownership than appropriation. I’m currently conducting a quasi-experiment in which half the classes are doing JC and the other half do more modeling. This is definitely one of the issues I’ll be looking for. I prefer to see this as different levels of scaffolding, the highest of which is providing text that is just beyond the student’s threshold. I’m hoping to see whether this has any effect!

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