Teaching Writing as Genre at Tertiary Level in the Middle East and North Africa


  • El-Sadig Ezza Professor of English at the Faculty of Arts, University of Khartoum, elsadigezza@gmail.com


writing, syllabus, genre, context, discourse, communication, challenges


This paper investigates some challenges in writing English as a foreign language in the Arab world, and proposes genre-based solutions to them. For the most part, these challenges are given impetus by the use of a writing syllabus that does not reflect recent developments into the linguistic theory such as contrastive rhetoric, discourse analysis, genre analysis, etc. In this connection, the paper advocates the view that learners’ writing problems can best be addressed by the adoption of the genre approach to writing because, unlike the existing structure-oriented curriculum, it introduces writing as a communicative activity rather than an exercise in the English grammar. An examination of the writing courses in four Arab universities has revealed that most of these courses are a mere exercise in the lexico-grammatical structure of English; which is argued to provide lip service to writing education at tertiary level.