JoLIE 9:3/2016


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Alcina de Sousa

University of Madeira, Portugal


João Silva

University of Nottingham, UK






The purpose of this paper is to discuss the feasibility of a pedagogical stylistics approach in ESP courses by presenting a “framework for syllabus” together with a selection of materials to raise a different “attitude to and use of texts”, to follow McCarthy and Carter (2001:61). The students addressed by the approach here under focus were thirty-six sports undergraduates. A concern for students’ identified inability to naturally overcome the gap between secondary school and university level (Arroz 2002:17) paired with the need for adequate linguistic competence in the English language motivated the conception of a syllabus that addressed the students’ specific needs. Four main tasks to be carried out throughout the semester were under focus, namely, the writing of narratives of the self, the selection and reading of texts in students’ topic areas, the description of a sports field in groups and a focus on grammar translation. These activities were complemented by students’ incremental development of their own portfolios. It is argued that by allowing students to develop their critical and reflective skills by interacting with language in its multiple units and layers of meaning, pedagogical stylistics simultaneously fosters students’ language awareness as well as their knowledge of a given subject matter, as part of a larger ‘discourse community’ (Swales 1991, Bizzel 1992). Students are thus empowered to speak and write in a multicultural and plurilingual setting while linguists and language teachers are made to assume a key role in guiding classroom practice and orienting students.


Keywords: ESP courses; Pedagogical stylistics; Integrated skills; Intercultural competence; Sports.





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How to cite this article: de Sousa, A. & Silva, J. (2016). How can pedagogical stylistics engage sports undergraduates and help them catch up with their English in an EFL premise?. Journal of Linguistic and Intercultural Education – JoLIE, 9(3), 153-186. DOI:



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