Windows into the theories-in-use of ELT community: A generic and corpus analysis of ELT blurbs across four decades

2016 IJRSE – Volume 5 Issue 2


Chahkandi, Fateme*
Department of Foreign Languages, University of Isfahan, Iran (

Zeinali, Mohammad
Department of Humanities, Farhangian University, Birjand Branch, Iran (


This study employed corpus and genre analysis as two useful tools to explore theories-in-use of the ELT community across 4 last decades. Analysis of the move-step sequence of the back cover blurbs revealed a 6-move generic pattern including advertising a book by selecting a slogan, establishing a niche, specification of the content, presentation of other components on the package, author endorsement, and propagating the book by means of extracts from teacher and students the overall purpose of which was to introduce the book and persuade the readers. From among the moves, the second one was explicitly and implicitly concerned with delineation of the theoretical framework underpinning the work. Examination of the key word concordances also indicated that, unlike what literature claimed to be the case (e.g. Bastrukmen, 1999), theories are well-reflected and well-documented in the ELT blurbs. However, the ELT community has adopted a selective approach toward theoretical orientations and that it values what is practical and of use at the classroom level. The implications are then discussed with the regard to theorists and practitioners, publishing agencies and teachers and students alike.

Keywords: ELT blurbs; corpus analysis; genre analysis; theories-in-use; concordance; ELT community



*Corresponding Author