Genre-Based Pedagogy in Paulo Freire’s Country: Teaching Brazilian Students to Write Essays for the National High School Exam

  • Orlando Vian Junior Universidade Federal de São Paulo
  • Fabiane Dalben de Faria Instituto Educacional Crescer
Keywords: essay writing, national exams, genre-based pedagogy, APPRAISAL system, critical pedagogy


From the perspective of the appraisal system, this article discusses how 60 high school students from two private Brazilian schools align with their readers in texts written as preparation for the Brazilian National High School Exam. Adopting a mixed methodology, a corpus of 301 texts produced by the students was analyzed. Results showed that students' commitment to proposals for social intervention increased throughout the analyzed course, which meant that students started to adopt more critical and proactive stances in their essays. In addition, results showed how students align with their readers, confirming the paramount importance of mastering written language for the development of school literacies, as suggested by Halliday (1996). In terms of implications for pedagogy, the experience brought about new insights for course design and improvements in students’ writing, as well as a better understanding of the role of language in literacy projects. Finally, it confirmed the possibility of building an interface between a genre-based pedagogy and Paulo Freire’s critical pedagogy.


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Author Biographies

Orlando Vian Junior, Universidade Federal de São Paulo

Ph. D. Applied Linguistics, Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo, Brazil. Associate professor, Department of Languages, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, Brazil.

Fabiane Dalben de Faria, Instituto Educacional Crescer

M. A. Linguistic Studies, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, Brazil. Writing teacher, Instituto Educacional Crescer, Brazil.



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How to Cite
Vian JuniorO., & Dalben de FariaF. (2021). Genre-Based Pedagogy in Paulo Freire’s Country: Teaching Brazilian Students to Write Essays for the National High School Exam. Íkala, 26(1), 61-76.