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Division of Labour and the Development of Professional Literacies: Problematising ESP Learners’ Preparedness for Workplace Writing



McKinley, James;

Al Hilali, Tayba;

(2022)

Division of Labour and the Development of Professional Literacies: Problematising ESP Learners’ Preparedness for Workplace Writing.

In: Escobar, Linda and Ibáñez Moreno, Ana, (eds.)
Mediating Specialized Knowledge and L2 Abilities.
(pp. 229-248).

Palgrave Macmillan: Cham, Switzerland.


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ESP_2022_Al Hilali _McKinley._Author_version.pdf
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Abstract

The importance of workplace writing literacies has been well recognised in both academic and professional contexts. However, the ability to prepare learners for mediation of specialised knowledge and their L2 abilities has been contested in the literature due to the gap between these two contexts. We argue that both contexts should reconcile and play a role in this preparation. This chapter aims to problematise graduates’ preparedness for workplace writing by investigating the perceptions of college engineer alumni and their line managers regarding preparedness for the demands of workplace writing. To this end, semi-structured interviews with twelve alumni working in five different private sector companies in Oman and four line managers were conducted over a period of eight months. The data reveal that the alumni and their line managers hold ambivalent views regarding graduates’ preparedness for workplace writing, that is, while acknowledging the role of the English for specific purposes (ESP) courses in equipping the graduates for the demands of workplace writing, the participants perceive this preparation as insufficient. The findings imply that there should be division of labour around preparing learners for workplace writing as both academic and professional contexts should play a part in it.

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