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Swales, J., Genre analysis: English in academic and research settings, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1990, 260 pp.

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Exploring Genre Acculturation of Novice Argentinean Researchers

1Facultad de Ciencias Agrarias, Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata, Balcarce, Argentina

American Journal of Educational Research. 2015, Vol. 3 No. 8, 982-989
DOI: 10.12691/education-3-8-6
Copyright © 2015 Science and Education Publishing

Cite this paper:
Viviana A. Innocentini, Ana B. Forte. Exploring Genre Acculturation of Novice Argentinean Researchers. American Journal of Educational Research. 2015; 3(8):982-989. doi: 10.12691/education-3-8-6.

Correspondence to: Viviana  A. Innocentini, Facultad de Ciencias Agrarias, Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata, Balcarce, Argentina. Email:


Genre acculturation has proved to be a useful strategy to help novice researchers improve their writing skills through feedback and negotiation with members of the discourse community they are striving to integrate. It is through acculturation that novice researchers become “legitimate peripheral” participants in such community. In the case of non-English speaking (NES) novice researchers who are struggling with a new genre as well as a foreign language, acculturation is indeed essential. When no acculturation exists, or when the process is dysfunctional in nature, NES novice researchers efforts to write for publication are likely to be useless; the lack of a genuine apprenticeship may thus be highly detrimental This study explored the novice-expert relationship of a group of Argentinian novice researchers in an attempt to gather insights concerning actual practices when writing research articles (RAs) in English for publication. Findings are in line with prior research about the isolation felt by these NES novice Argentinean researchers; they not only lack awareness about generic conventions existing for the writing and publishing of RAs but also, and most importantly, they lack genuine acculturation through hands-on involvement along the writing for publication process. These deficiencies have resulted either in rejection of their research or in the adoption of practices described in prior studies as “corruptive” in their attempts to get their research published. As reflected by the above situation, further involvement of novice researchers is needed, through gradual but hands-on acculturation in order to aid their publication process. Given the apparent inability of senior researchers to mediate in the writing process and engage their novice research group members through real participatory writing activities, implications for ESP /EAP teachers are evident. Interventions by ESP/EAP teachers in the form of course design and materials adaptation are suggested here as a form of compensatory intervention.