Corporate Genres…

Next week, I’ going to teach a seminar on English on the web at Potsdam University. I was invited by Prof. Dr. Barth-Weingarten because I had taught a seminar on “English in the New Media” there in 2014. The current seminar’s title is “English@Work” and it focusses on the use of English in professional settings. So, even though I’ve worked on web-based English a bit already, this seminar session will be quite a challenge – it’s “undiscover’d country” for me.

I’ve been working hard the last weeks to get ideas and a feasable plan for the seminar. Luckily enough, Jana Pflaeging allowed me to pick up on the structure we used for our seminar at Zagreb University, where we compared the two genres “ListSite” and “Personal Weblog” in group work. My idea for Potsdam now is to do the same with corporate websites and corporate blogs (mainly drawing on Poppi 2012 for the former and Puschmann 2010 for the latter).

I think I’ll pursue the question of how the challenge of creating a favourable corporate image for so many different recipients on the web is tackled on corporate websites and corporate blogs. I’ll show that corporate blogs address the need of companies to present themselves as interactive and accessible and, thanks to Puschmann’s previous work, we can also deal with a blog that only at a second glance turns out to be a corporate one (i.e. pretends to be something else) – whioch will be highly interesting 🙂 We will, therefore, compare some language features, participation frameworks, topics and functions – each aspect to be worked on by one group of students. Still, I am very excited and hope that the session turns out to be a good one…

In two weeks time, I’ll use the food for thought of this seminar session in a talk on corporate genres at Halle University – so I’m really looking forward to the new input I’ll get from the Potsdam students! 🙂

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