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TKT: KAL Part 4 Discourse: genre trainers notes

Description
5B

This activity explores different genres of spoken and written English, and the specific
features of each genre. Participants work with texts from a range of genres to increase their
understanding of these features and their ability to define them. There is a sample TKT: KAL
task.
Time required:
13B

Materials
required:
15B

45 minutes
14B

Participants Worksheet 1 (one copy for each participant)

16B

Participants Worksheet 2 (one copy for each participant)

17B

Aims:
18B

Sample Task (one copy for each participant)


to introduce the different spoken and written genres, and their
features
19B

to increase awareness of the different genre features

to practise recognising features of genres in texts

to practise a sample task

Procedure
6B

1. Brainstorm with participants all the kinds of genres (both spoken and written) that
they know. Write them up on the board as they say them.
2. Elicit what differences there are between any of the different genres on the board,
encouraging them to think about differences between format, register, function,
grammatical and lexical complexity, style etc. Dont expect or require very exact
answers at this stage.
3. Give out Participants Worksheets 1 and 2. Participants work in small groups (of 3
or 4) to firstly identify the genre of each text on Participants Worksheet 1 and then
to answer and discuss the questions on Participants Worksheet 2, referring to the
same texts. Monitor and feed back as necessary (see Key below). As you go through
the answers, you may want to check that the participants understand the notion of
register and what makes a text formal, informal or neutral. Identification of register
can appear as an item in TKT: KAL tasks.
4. Refer participants to Exercise 2 on Participants Worksheet 2. They should work in
pairs to think of examples of contrasting genres for each of the genre features listed.
When they have finished, they should compare their examples with another pair.
Feed back any areas of discussion (see Key below).
5. Put participants into at least three teams. Each team should think of four different
spoken or written genres and identify their features. The teams then take it in turns to
read out the features of one genre. The first team to guess the genre gets a point.
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Continue until all the genres have been read out. The winner is the team with most
points.
6. Give out the Sample Task. Participants complete the task individually in no more
than 7 minutes (candidates have an average of 1 minute per question in the TKT:
KAL exam). Check answers (see Key below). Alternatively, participants can
complete the sample task at home.
7. With the whole group, discuss the following questions:
How might knowledge of genres help the teacher in the classroom? (A
teacher with a knowledge of genres will be better able to point out genre
features to learners. Knowledge of genre features helps learners to read and
listen more easily with text that follow a more fixed format. It will also help
learners with their writing, particularly register, layout, structure, function/
purpose of text.)
Would it be useful or not to teach learners the terms used for genres
used in this session? (There is no correct answer to this: teachers may
have different and valid arguments either way, according to the context in
which they teach.)

Additional information
7B

Knowledge of aspects of genres, such as those focussed on in this activity, are regularly
tested in TKT: KAL. This is done mainly by asking candidates to identify a range of features
in texts, as in the sample task.

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TKT: KAL Part 4 Discourse: genre trainers notes

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TKT: KAL Part 4 Discourse: genre answer keys


Key to Participants Worksheet 1
8B

A newspaper article

E encyclopaedia/ reference book/ website

B review

F dictionary

C legal contract

G spoken informal conversation

D note

Key to Participants Worksheet 2


9B

Exercise 1
10B

1) What makes these genres different from one another? List the features.
Register, grammatical complexity, spoken or written , amount of explicitness or
ellipsis, layout, structuring of information, amount of specific vocabulary, function of
texts
2) How do you know what genre something belongs to?
Because of your accumulated experience of these genres/ your expectations and
because particular genres have relatively fixed features
3) What spoken genres can you think of?
Conversation, announcements, news, lectures, talks, advertisements, plays,
requests, complaints, etc.
4) List the features that make spoken genres different from one another.
Number of speakers; degree of complexity of grammar and vocabulary, how much
speakers interrupt one another; amount of topic change; length; visibility of speaker;
accents, register, etc.
5) Are spoken genres always different to written genres?
They often are but some written and spoken genres are very similar e.g. informal
emails or notes usually have many features of spoken language; prepared talks or
speeches often have many features of written language.
6) Do genres always have the same fixed features?
They tend to be quite constant but many writers play with introducing unusual genre
features.

UCLES 2009. This material may be photocopied (without alteration) and distributed for classroom use provided no charge is made. For further
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Exercise 2
1B

Possible answers
Genre 1

Genre 2

a) degree of formality of language

contract

note

b) recognised development/ structure

essay

conversation

c) degree of consistency of topics

article

informal email

d) amount of ellipsis

formal minutes

informal
conversation

e) specificity of layouts

formal letter

informal letter

f)

contract

note

g) amount of personalisation

report

personal email

h) degree of specificity of kinds of


information given

review

informal
conversation

i)

degree of specificity of text functions

advertisement

informal email

j)

number of speakers

speech

group conversation

k) amount of interactivity

talking to yourself

conversation

l)

announcement

speech/lecture

contract

text message

degree of explicitness of language

amount of background noise

m) degree of complexity of language

Key to Sample Task


12B

1H

2B

3A

4F

5G

6C

7D

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TKT: KAL Part 4 Discourse: genre Participants Worksheet 1


What genres are each of these text extracts?
A

This Saturday saw a rare chance for a


handful of Druid visitors to walk
amongst the ruins of Stonehenge in
Salisbury, Wiltshire.

B
I usually use Boots No 7 products
and although it will remove eye
shadow it doesn't do anything for
mascara. I tried new mascara
yesterday - but that is another
review as will be the eye liner, it
was a brilliant turquoise colour, a
gift in a bag of goodies, and both
stayed on all day.

Starting at sunrise Saturday 20 March,


the opening of the site marked the
celebration of the vernal, or spring,
equinox.
Stone circles have been at the centre of
Druid traditions and customs for
hundreds of years, with Stonehenge
acting as the focal point for many
celebrations.

From:
http://www.ciao.co.uk/Boots_No_7_Cleanse_Car
e_Eye_Make_Up_Remover__6681202

(Text originally from


http://news.uk.msn.com/advertorials/Panasonic/
spring-equinox-deepzoom.aspx)

C
CONDITIONS
1. Conditions of Premises The landlord shall keep the premises in a good state of repair and fit
for habitation during the tenancy and shall comply with any statutory enactment or law respecting
standards of health, safety or housing.
(section 76(I)(a))
2A. Services Where the landlord provides a service or facility to the tenant that is reasonably
related to the tenants continued use and enjoyment of the premises such as, but not as to restrict
the generality of the foregoing, heat, water, electric power, has, appliances, garbage collection,
sewers or elevators, the landlords shall not discontinue providing that service.
(section 76(I)(c))
2B. Good Behaviour A tenant shall conduct him/herself in such a manner as not to interfere
with the possession or occupancy of other tenants. (section 76(2)(b))
from http://www.community.gov.yk.ca/pdf/sampleformtenancyagreement.pdf

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TKT: KAL Part 4 Discourse: genre Participants Worksheet 1

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Back by 10
Key behind door- no
food

CU

things that you throw away because


they are no longer useful, such as
old food, paper or plastic used for
wrapping things, and empty
containers
H

In linguistics, a discourse marker is a


word or phrase that is relatively syntaxindependent, does not have a particular
grammatical function, does not change the
meaning of the utterance, and has a
somewhat empty meaning.[1] Examples of
discourse markers include the particles
"oh", "well", "now", "then", "you know", and
"I mean", and the connectives "so",
"because", "and", "but", and "or".[2]
H

The council is encouraging people to


recycle their household rubbish.
H

The streets were littered with


rubbish.
H

Synonyms or related words for this


meaning of rubbish: e-waste, litter,
remains, waste, debris... more
H

Collocations: rubbish
clear, collect, dump, recycle, remove,
throw out

from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discourse_marker

(from
http://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/br
itish/rubbish.)
H

G
Mum: 10 oclock.
Son:

Up soon.

Mum: Your rooms a mess.


Son:

Give me till 11.

Mum: Up to you.
Son:

Can I have a coffee?

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TKT: KAL Part 4 Discourse: genre Participants Worksheet 1

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TKT: KAL Part 4 Discourse: genre Participants Worksheet 2


Exercise 1
Answer these questions about the texts on Participants Worksheet 1.
1) What makes these genres different from one another? List the features.
2) How do you know what genre something belongs to?
3) What spoken genres can you think of?
4) List the features that make spoken genres different from one another.
5) Are spoken genres always different to written genres?
6) Do genres always have the same fixed features?
Exercise 2
Think of two contrasting genres for each of the following genre features. The first one is
done as an example.
Genre 1
a) degree of formality of language

contract

Genre 2
note

b) recognised development/ structure


c) degree of consistency of topics
d) amount of ellipsis
e) specificity of layouts
f)

degree of explicitness of language

g) amount of personalisation
h) degree of specificity of kinds of
information given
i)

degree of specificity of text functions

j)

number of speakers

k) amount of interactivity
l)

amount of background noise

m) degree of complexity of language


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TKT: KAL Part 4 Discourse: genre Participants Worksheet 2

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TKT: KAL Part 4 Discourse: genre Sample Task


For questions 1-7, read the email and match the underlined parts with the features of the
genre, informal emails, that they contain listed A-H.
There is one extra option which you do not need to use.
Features
A

Colloquial vocabulary

Little sentence linking

Use of abbreviations

Sudden topic changes

Substitution

Grammatically inaccurate language

Ellipsis

H Shared knowledge not made explicit

Informal Email
(1) I still haven't booked as I haven't heard from the club yet and had forgotten about it. I
U

hope theres still a room (2)_- and a cheap one - money is tight!
U

(3) Freaking out with too much to do and not enough time to do it all. Missing you all and
U

wondering why I need to work so hard. Ran away to London for (4) 3 days last week with
U

friend Jan (5) fun - except it was freezing and we had snow! (6) Send me some sun asap,
U

will you?

Oh dear - bad day so think I'll go to bed so tomorrow will be better. (7) Toms fine.
U

Love to both and see you in 6 weeks


Suzi

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TKT: KAL Part 4 Discourse: genre Sample Task

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Acknowledgements
Cambridge ESOL is grateful to the following for copyright permission:
Wikipedia
Linguistics (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discourse_marker)
H

Every effort has been made to identify the copyright owners for material used, but it is not always
possible to identify the source or contact the copyright holders. In such cases, Cambridge ESOL
would welcome information from the copyright owners.

UCLES 2009. This material may be photocopied (without alteration) and distributed for classroom use provided no charge is made. For further
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TKT: KAL Part 4 Discourse: genre Sample Task

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