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What is meant by Mode and Genre?

What is meant bytwo different modes or genres of communication?”

The usage of the terms genre and mode can be varied, depending on discipline and context. One reason our Expression and Communication GER mentions both words is because fine distinctions do not matter here. You may interpret the terms as they make sense in your teaching area.

Understanding exactly what the two words mean is less important than understanding that our new GER wants to promote flexibility and adaptability in our students’ abilities to communicate through their assignments in classes. A class, for example, should not require three critical essays as the main work of the class. Rather, the critical essay should be accompanied in the class by other genres or modes such as a presentation, scaffolded research stages, an audio or digital project, or a digital poster, as examples. See a list of possibilities here. Even a different kind of written essay assignment would be a better addition than a repetition of the exact same sort of essay.

The New London Group developed materials arguing for multiple modes, including visual, aural, spatial, and gestural modes. Scholar/teachers have been urging for writing across the disciplines to think in multimodal ways, especially about having students design and/or redesign texts and not simply write them, for particular audiences in real situations and diverse cultural contexts.

Teachers of classes tagged with Expression and Communication are encouraged to think about the kinds of communication people in their fields do in their academic lives and the broader expressions of professional activity. What kind of speaking, reflecting, writing, performing, information designing, or social media creating happens? Would some of these be relevant and educational for students to practice in these disciplinary classes?