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Learning to Become a Professional in a Textually-Mediated World

A Text-Oriented Study of Placement Practices

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Ken Lau

The book presents a text-based study of discourse practices in placement, a hybrid zone which re-contextualises academic knowledge and professional practices. Using Lave and Wenger’s Communities of Practice as the overarching theoretical framework, the study investigates how novices learn to write like their professional counterparts. By collecting texts completed in various placement contexts and in-depth qualitative interviews with informants, the study features a multi-dimensional approach to the analysis of discourse practices in terms of text construction and text consumption. The issues of genre, feedback, identity and role associated with placement learning are brought into focus.
Ken Lau is currently Assistant Professor of the Centre for Applied English Studies at the University of Hong Kong. He has recently graduated with a PhD in Applied Linguistics from Lancaster University. His research interests include discourse analysis, identities and roles, literacy practices and communities of practice.