An Cheng



Address: 205B Morrill Hall
Phone: 405-744-9474
Message: 405-744-9474

Professor and Department Head
PhD, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park

Areas of Interest & Expertise

  • The genre-based framework for teaching and learning academic, research, and professional writing
  • English for Specific Purposes (ESP) and English for Academic Purposes (EAP)

Recent Upper Division & Graduate Courses

  • Genres in Professional Writing
  • Professional Writing Theory and Pedagogy
  • Introduction to Graduate Studies
  • Writing as a Profession

Selected Publications

  • Cheng, A. (2018). Genre and Graduate-level Research Writing. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press
    • Link to the information on the University of Michigan Press
    • Link to Amazon
    • These academic journals have published scholarly reviews of the book:
      • Applied Linguistics
      • English for Specific Purposes
      • Journal of Second Language Writing
      • Journal of English for Academic Purposes
      • Journal of the International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language ESP SIG
      • System
Journal Articles and Book Chapters
  • Cheng, A. (2019). Examining the "applied aspirations" in the ESP genre analysis of published journal articles. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 38, 36-47. [Link to abstract]
  • Cheng, A. (2016). EAP at the tertiary level in China: Challenges and possibilities. In K. Hyland, & P. Shaw (Eds.), The Routledge Handbook of English for Academic Purposes (pp. 97-108). New York: Routledge. [Link]

  • Cheng, A. (2015a). Genre analysis as a pre-instructional, instructional, and teacher development framework. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 19, 125-136. [Link to abstract]

  • Cheng, A. (2015b). Rethinking the paths toward developing ESP practitioners' specialized knowledge through the lens of genre analysis. English as a Global Language Education Journal, 1, 23-45. [Link to abstract]

  • Cheng, A., & Anthony, L. (2014). ESP research in Asia: Guest editorial for a special issue on ESP research in Asia. English for Specific Purposes, 33, 1-3.

  • Cheng, A., & Wang, Q. (2012). English language teaching in higher education in China: A historical and social perspective. In J. Ruan, & C. Leung (Eds.), Perspectives on teaching and learning English in China (pp. 19-33). New York: Springer. [Link]

  • Cheng, A. (2011). ESP classroom research: Basic considerations and future research questions. In D. Belcher, A. M. Johns, & B. Paltridge (Eds.), New Directions in ESP Research (pp. 44-72). Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press. [Link]

  • Cheng, A. (2011). Language features as the pathways to genre: Students' attention to non-prototypical features and its implication. Journal of Second Language Writing, 20, 69-82. [Link to abstract]

  • Cheng, A. (2008a). Analyzing genre exemplars in preparation for writing: The case of an L2 graduate student in the ESP genre-based instructional framework of academic literacy.  Applied Linguistics, 29, 50-71. [Link to abstract]
  • Cheng, A. (2008b). Individualized engagement with genre in academic literacy tasks. English for Specific Purposes, 27, 387-411. [Link to abstract]

Reprinted in Basturkmen, H. (2015). (Ed.),  English for Academic Purposes: Critical concepts in Linguistics. New York: Routledge. [Link]

  • Cheng, A. (2007a). Simulation-based L2 writing instruction: Enhancement through genre analysis. Simulation and Gaming, 38, 1-16. [Link to abstract]
  • Cheng, A. (2007b). Transferring generic features and recontextualizing genre awareness: Understanding writing performance in the ESP genre-based literacy framework. English for Specific Purposes, 26, 287-307. [Link to abstract]

Winner of the 2007 English for Specific Purposes Journal "Best Article of the Year" Award 

  • Cheng, A. (2006a). Analyzing and enacting academic criticism: The case of a graduate learner of academic writing. Journal of Second Language Writing, 15, 279-306. [Link to abstract]

  • Cheng, A. (2006b). Understanding learners and learning in ESP genre-based writing instruction. English for Specific Purposes, 25, 76-89. [Link to abstract]

  • Hall, J. K., Cheng, A., & Carlson, M. (2006). Reconceptualizing multicompetence as a theory of language knowledge. Applied Linguistics, 27, 220-240. [Link to abstract]


  • Editorial Panel Member of the journal Applied Linguistics [Link]

  • Editorial Board Member of the journal English for Specific Purposes [Link]

  • Editorial Board Member of Journal of Second Language Writing [Link]
  • Advisory Board Member of the journal English as a Global Language Education
  • Advisory Board Member of China Association of English for Academic Purposes

  • ESP 2007 Horowitz Best Article of the Year

  • Oklahoma State University College of Arts and Sciences "Junior Faculty for Scholarly Excellence" Award, 2009 [Link]

Recent Invited Speeches and Conference Presentations

Keynote and Invited Speeches
  • "ESP teacher empowerment: Rethinking the paths towards 'specialized knowledge' through the lens of genre analysis." Keynote speech at the 2014 English for Specific Purposes Professional Development Workshop, Tainan City, Taiwan, September 12-13, 2014.

  • “The connections between genre analysis and ESP: Insights from a student's genre-analysis tasks.” Plenary speech at the 2013 Joint International Conference of the Chinese Association of ESP and the International Conference on ESP in Asia, Shanghai, China, September 27-29, 2013.

  • "Negotiating the tensions between discipline specificity and classroom heterogeneity in genre-focused learning of advanced academic writing." Plenary speech at the 2012 International Conference and Workshop on English for Specific Purposes, Tainan City, Taiwan, October 23-26, 2012.

  • "The knowledge base for guiding students’ genre-focused learning: What students’ genre-analysis tasks reveal." Invited talk at the English Language Institute, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA, November 5, 2010.

Conference Presentations
  • "The 'submission guidelines' of academic journals: What can they reveal to writing teachers about discipline-specific research writing" Annual Conference of the American Association for Applied Linguistics, Atlanta, Georgia, USA, March 9-12, 2019
  • "The 'aims and scope' statements of academic research journals: Implications for writing teachers" Annual Conference of the American Association for Applied Linguistics, Chicago, Illinois, USA, March 24-27, 2018
  • "The topics and genres specified in technical writing job advertisements: The implications for teaching technical/professional writing majors" Annual Conference of the Council for Programs in Technical and Scientific Communication, Savannah, Georgia, USA, October 5-7, 2017.

  • "Discipline-specific research writing guidebooks: Implications for teachers of writing" Annual Conference of the American Association for Applied Linguistics, Orlando, Florida, USA, April  9-12, 2016.

  • "Blogs on academic writing: Relevance to teachers of L2 writing" Annual Conference of the American Association for Applied Linguistics, Toronto, Canada, March 21-24, 2015.

  • "Why does 'genre' sound so familiar?" Annual Conference of the American Association for Applied Linguistics, Dallas, Texas, USA, March 16-19, 2013.

  • "NNES, genre, and professional writing." Annual TESOL International Convention, Philadelphia, USA, March 28-31, 2012.

  • "Students' analyses of the rhetorical structures in research articles: Errors and implication." Annual Conference of the American Association for Applied Linguistics, Chicago, Illinois, USA, March, 2011.

  • "Noticing the generic significance of ordinary words." Annual Conference of the American Association for Applied Linguistics, Atlanta, Georgia, USA, March, 2010.

  • "Language awareness and genre awareness: Pathways to each other?" Symposium on Second Language Writing, Tempe, Arizona, USA, November, 2009.

  • "Students' noticing of generic features in discipline-specific journal articles: A study of a genre-based writing class for L2 graduate students." Annual Conference of American Association of Applied Linguistics (AAAL), Washington, DC., USA, April, 2008.

  • "Genre analysis and learning opportunities: Implications for ESP genre-based writing instruction." Annual Conference of the American Association of Applied Linguistics (AAAL), Costa Mesa, California, USA, April, 2007.

  • "Adversarial discourses in academic writing." Annual Conference of the American Educational Research Association, San Francisco, California, USA, May, 2006.