Genre Pedagogy within Systemic Functional Linguistics Developing Heritage Spanish Students’ Persuasive Writing Skills with a Focus on the Subjunctive Mood and Modality

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Ana Cristina Sánchez


This research study uses Genre Pedagogy (GP) grounded on Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL) and the Teaching Learning Cycle to develop heritage Spanish students persuasive writing skills with a focus on the subjunctive mood and modality. Heritage Spanish (HS) students acquire the heritage language in informal settings through the interactions with their family members, friends, and members of their communities. However, once HS speakers start their schooling years, their instruction is in English, and the use and input of their heritage language diminishes, resulting in the erosion of many linguistic features (Scontras et al., 2015). According to many studies, the Spanish subjunctive is one the first linguistic features that suffers erosion or is incompletely acquired (Blake, 1983; Montrul, 2020). This statement is supported by the Regression Hypothesis, which states that the last linguistic feature the speaker learned is the first one to suffer erosion, simplification, or omission (Bardovi-Harliga & Stringer, 2010). The genre of persuasion was chosen because it triggers the use of subjunctive mood and  modality. At the same time, this study fills the gap of using a genre approach to develop knowledge on a challenging linguistic feature of the heritage language like the subjunctive.

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