Text types

When we communicate, we use a wide variety of language forms, which have their particular structure, style and purpose. They have been called text-types or discourse forms. In learning the language students should experience and actively create a wide variety of discourse forms, proceeding from simpler to more complex as they develop and their knowledge of language increases.

Students should have passive or active experience of a variety of text types which are current and useful, relevant to the students’ interests and aspirations, and have the potential for a range of activities.

The following list of text types will be useful in developing courses, activities and teaching strategies.


graffiti poem
advertisement (radio, newspaper,
graph prayer
greeting or congratulation proclamation
anecdote guide (television, tourist, race) profile
argument history or chronicle program
article (magazine, newspaper) horoscope proverb
autobiography index questionnaire
ballad inscription receipt
brochure instruction or recipe reference (job)
bulletin interview report (analytical, conjectural,
cartoon (with words) joke
case-study label request
catalogue lecture or talk resume or curriculum vitae
chart legend or myth riddle


letter (business, literary, personal or to the editor) script (film,television)
comic sermon
commentary libretto or lyric short story
contract list or inventory sign (with words)
conversation map and legend sketch
critique or review meeting (including agenda,
motion, minutes, terms of
reference, or procedure)
debate soliloquy
dedication song, hymn, or anthem
definition menu specification
diagram message (telegram,
verbal or written)
diary or journal sticker
discussion narrative story
documentary (film or video) notice summary or synopsis
editorial novel telephone call
essay (factual, conjectural,
creative or analytical)
order or command testimony
parable textbook (instruction manual)
folk-tale personal account timetable
form plan (essay) trial
game play wordplay (pun, tongue twister)

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