Reading Genre

A New Wave of Analysis


  • David Rose Department of Linguistics, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia



Linguistics, Article


Genre based literacy pedagogy has been developed over 25 years, in what has become known as the Sydney School (Martin 2000). The initial motivation was to improve the academic success of marginalised school students by giving them explicit models to organise the genres they were expected to write. In the 1980s the research focus was on writing genres in the primary school, and in the 1990s on writing genres across the secondary school curriculum. A new generation of genre-based literacy pedagogy, known as Reading to Learn (Rose 2004, 2005b, 2007) is now focusing on teaching reading at all these levels. As reading texts in any curriculum are highly diverse, learners and teachers need a flexible set of tools for identifying how meanings unfold through them. While the writing pedagogy focused on highly predictable staging of genres, the reading pedagogy focuses on smaller phases of meaning within each stage, that are more variable, and sensitive to register variations such as a text’s field. Another wave of genre research is now identifying potential types of phases in various genres, as a basis for inform teaching of both reading and writing across academic curricula.

Author Biography

David Rose, Department of Linguistics, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia

Dr David Rose coordinates an international literacy program known as Learning to Read: Reading to Learn, which trains teachers in a unique methodology for scaffolding reading and writing. He is also an Associate of both the Faculty of Education and Social Work and the Department of Linguistics at the University of Sydney. His work has been particularly concerned with Indigenous Australian communities, languages and education programs, with whom he has worked for 25 years. He is the author of The Western Desert Code: an Australian cryptogrammar. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics, 2001, Working with Discourse: meaning beyond the clause (with J.R. Martin). London: Continuum, 2003 and Genre Relations: mapping culture (also with J.R. Martin). London: Equinox, 2006.


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How to Cite

Rose, D. (2008). Reading Genre: A New Wave of Analysis. Linguistics and the Human Sciences, 2(2), 185–204.