The Impact of Knowledge of English Rhetorical Patterns of Organisation on BA Accounting and Finance Students' Writing Academic Genres

The Impact of Knowledge of English Rhetorical Patterns of Organisation on BA Accounting and Finance Students' Writing Academic Genres

Malika Kouti (Kasdi Merbah University, Algeria)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2265-3.ch006

Abstract

This chapter discusses the impact of knowing the English rhetorical pattern of organisation on BA Accounting and Finance students' academic writing. More specifically, it focuses on the knowledge of how to structure a letter of application for job hunting purposes. This case study involved the analysis of 40 letters of application written by 40 Accounting and Finance students in the Department of Accounting and Finance at the University of Ghardaïa, Algeria after they had been trained to structure this type of letter. The training lasted for two sessions in the Department of Accounting and Finance at Ghardaia University, Algeria. The training was a direct instruction in which students were shown activities that assisted them in mastering the rhetorical pattern of organisation that concerns letters of application. They were also shown the difference between formal and informal letters of application. The obtained results demonstrated the efficiency of the direct instruction in teaching Accounting and Finance students how to write a letter of application.
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Introduction

Teaching academic writing has been a challenge for many practitioners, mainly in ESP (English for Specific Purposes) contexts as it is related and due to a lack of consideration of its importance by both institutions and graduate and post-graduate students. Specificity of the discipline requires specific courses (Basturkmen, 2010) that consider the type of the discipline, the learners, the content, and the objective behind the course. In an Accounting and Finance department as the one in Ghardaia University, it has been noticed that there is no clear objective for teaching English for either graduate or post-graduate students, and this lack has made teachers rely on themselves to provide courses based on mainly teaching specialised vocabulary while neglecting the reading and writing skills. Concerning the latters which are interrelated (Grabe, 2003, 2006, 2009; Grabe and Stoller, 2001), there should be a focus on developing them as they are needed for many objectives which range from writing business letters, memos, e-mails, reports up to dissertations. Grabe (2003) claims that “reading and writing might reinforce or accelerate the learning content, the development of literacy skills, and the acquisition of language abilities” (p. 242). Nonetheless, students should have linguistic knowledge, English in this case (Alderson, 2000). Swales and Feak (2004) maintain that “Graduate students face a variety of writing tasks as they work toward their chosen degrees.” (p. 7). Letters of application are required for job hunting, and are not taken into consideration by the majority of teachers in business studies, mainly in Accounting and Finance content area, which implies teaching how they are structured through a specific framework.

Key Terms in this Chapter

ESP: “English for Specific Purposes” is a variety of English taught to students of different specialties in different academic settings such as business English, Medicine, etc, focusing on teaching them vocabulary and needed skills. It is based on students’ needs.

Writing Academic Genres: Forms of writing taught to and practised by students in academic settings.

Accounting and Finance: A branch of study in the Economics studies.

Letter of Application: A letter written for job hunting purposes.

Rhetorical Patterns of Organisation: Plans used by authors for organising their writing.

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