Contrastive Genre Mapping in Academic Contexts: an Intercultural Approach

Otto Kruse, Madalina Chitez


This paper presents a comparison of genre use at three Swiss universities from different language regions. The methodology is one of contrastive genre mapping in which we connect two lines of re-search usually seen as distinct approaches. The aim of the study is to find ways of comparing the writing cultures of different languages by collecting and comparing the genres used for teaching. Data about genres were gathered through questionnaires in which students and faculty members were asked to describe writing assignments and student texts. From the answers to these questionnaires, genre inventories were constructed and then re-checked with insiders in faculty discussions or inter-views. As results, lists of genres from the individual universities are presented, as are the patterns of genre families into which the genres were classified. It turned out that genre use shows strong similar-ities across the three universities. The main genre families are presented and differences between universities are discussed.



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