Writing as a critical moment in professional discourse
Keywords:case notes, expertise, ideologies, professional writing, social work writing, writing for publication
Written texts mediate action and serve as accounts of action in most contemporary professional domains. Echoing Candlin’s call for applied and social linguists to explore ‘critical moments’ in discourse, I argue that ‘writing’ constitutes just such a critical moment, because of its contested position in professional domains and the dominant ideology underpinning writing evident both in ‘intellectual’ (academic) and ‘expert’ (professional) orientations. A key challenge is to find ways of understanding writing which are not constrained by existing ‘intellectual’ and ‘expert’ orientations and which can contribute to useable knowledge for professional practice. I draw on specific examples from ethnographically oriented research projects with professionals in two domains (academia and social work) to illustrate how a dominant ideology of writing is enacted. This enactment is explored further by focusing on ICT-mediated ‘expert systems’ in social work, illustrating how an increasingly used, specific technology of writing is impacting professional practice. I conclude by considering the difficulties and possibilities of collaboratively building usable knowledge about writing for professional practice.
Academic Language Experts (2020) A Language Apart: The Experience of Non-Native English-Speaking Scholars in Academic Publishing. Available online: https://www.aclang.com/blog/report-the-experience-of-non/
Agar, Michael (1996) The Professional Stranger: An Informal Introduction to Ethnography (2nd revised edition). New York: Academic Press.
Archer, Lucy (2008) Younger academics’ constructions of ‘authenticity’, ‘success’ and professional identity. Studies in Higher Education 33 (4): 385–403. https://doi.org/10.1080/03075070802211729 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/03075070802211729
Balkow, Michael and Theresa Lillis (2019) Social Work Writing and Bureaucracy: A Tale in Two Voices. Sheffield: Centre for Welfare Reform. Available online: https://www.centreforwelfarereform.org/uploads/attachment/667/social-work-writing-and-bureaucracy.pdf
Barton, David, Mary Hamilton and Roz Ivani? (eds) (2000) Situated Literacies. London: Routledge.
Bazerman, Charles and James Paradis (eds) (1991) Textual Dynamics of the Professions. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.
Bhatia, Vijay, K. (2002) Genre analysis, ESP and professional practice. English for Specific Purposes 27 (2): 161–174. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.esp.2007.07.005 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.esp.2007.07.005
Bhatia, Vijay K. (2012) Critical reflections on genre analysis. Ibérica 24: 17–28.
Bourdieu, Pierre (2000)  Pascalian Meditations. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
Canagarajah, Suresh (2011) Codemeshing in academic writing: Identifying teachable strategies of translanguaging. The Modern Language Journal 95 (3): 401–417. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-4781.2011.01207.x DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-4781.2011.01207.x
Candlin, Christopher N. (1989) Preface. In Norman Fairclough (ed.) Language and Power, vii–viii. London: Longman.
Candlin, Christopher N. (1997) General editor’s preface. In Britt Louise Gunnarsson, Per Linell and Bengt Nordberg (eds) The Construction of Professional Discourse, viii–xiv. London: Longman.
Candlin, Christopher N. (2008) Trading Places, Creating Spaces: Aligning Research and Practice in LSP and Professional Communication. Plenary paper presented at Partnerships in Action: Research, Practice and Training Inaugural Conference of the Asia-Pacific Rim LSP and Professional Communication Association, Hong Kong, 9–10 December 2008.
Candlin, Christopher N. (2009) Preface. In Vijay Bhatia, Winnie Cheng, Bertha Du-Babcock and Jane Lung (eds) Language for Professional Communication: Research, Practice and Training, 6–10. Hong Kong: Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
Candlin, Christopher N., Jonathan Crichton and Stephen H. Moore (2017) Discourses on discourse. In Christopher N. Candlin, Jonathan Crichton and Stephen H. Moore (eds) Exploring Discourse in Context and in Action. 17–41. London: Palgrave Macmillan. https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-137-31506-9_2 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-137-31506-9_2
Candlin, Christopher N. and Srikant Sarangi (2004) Editorial: Making applied linguistics matter. Journal of Applied Linguistics 1 (1): 1–8. https://doi.org/10.1558/japl.v1i1.1 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1558/japl.v1i1.1
Candlin, Sally and Christopher N. Candlin (2016) Extending ‘presencing’ in the context of enhancing patient wellbeing in nursing care. Journal of Applied Linguistics and Professional Practice 13 (1–3): 435–451. https://doi.org/10.1558/japl.32566 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1558/japl.32566
Coupland, Nikolas, Srikant Sarangi and Christopher N. Candlin (eds) (2001) Sociolinguistics and Social Theory. London: Pearson.
Cree, Viv (2008) Researching social work: Reflections on a contested profession. Inaugural lecture at the University of Edinburgh, 29 January. Available online: http://www.socialwork.ed.ac.uk/events/other_events/2007__2008/researching_social_work_reflections_on_a_contested_profession.
Curry, Mary Jane and Theresa Lillis (2018) Global Academic Publishing: Policies, Perspectives and Pedagogies. Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters. https://doi.org/10.21832/9781783099245 DOI: https://doi.org/10.21832/9781783099245
Department of Education (2011) The Munro Review of Child Protection: Final Report – A Child-Centered System. London: HMSO.
Dreyfus, Hubert L. and Stuart E. Dreyfus (1986) Mind Over Machine: The Power of Human Intuition and Expertise in the Era of the Computer. New York: The Free Press.
Fraenkel, Beatrice (2001) La résistible ascension de l’écrit au travail. In Anni Borzeix and Beatrice Fraenkel (eds) Langage et Travail. Communication, Cognition, Action. 113–142. Paris: CNRS editions.
Geertz, Clifford (1973) The Interpretation of Cultures. New York: Basic Books.
Hall, Christopher, Nigel Parton, Sue Peckover and Sue White (2010) Child-centric Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and the fragmentation of child welfare practice in England. Journal of Social Policy 39: 393–413. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0047279410000012 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0047279410000012
Hymes, Dell (1996)  Speech and language: On the origins and foundations of inequality among speakers. In Dell Hymes (ed.) Ethnography, Linguistics, Narrative Inequality: Towards an Understanding of Voice, 25–62. London: Taylor and Francis.
Ibrahim, Rozita, Ahmad Zamri Mansor and Latifah Amin (2011) The meaning and practices of academic professionalism: Views from academics in a research University. Social and Behavioral Sciences 59: 520–527. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2012.09.309 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2012.09.309
Jones, Rodney (2013) Chris Candlin. In Carol A. Chapelle (ed.) The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics, 568–570. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.
Lea, Mary and Barry Stierer (2011) Changing academic identities in academic workplaces: learning from everyday academics’ everyday professional writing practices. Teaching in Higher Education 16 (6): 605-616. https://doi.org/10.1080/13562517.2011.560380 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/13562517.2011.560380
Leedham, Maria, Theresa Lillis and Alison Twiner (2019) Exploring the core preoccupation of social work writing: A corpus-assisted discourse study. Journal of Corpora and Discourse Studies 2 (1): 1–30. https://doi.org/10.18573/jcads.26 DOI: https://doi.org/10.18573/jcads.26
Leigh, Jadwiga T., Leigh Morriss and Matthew Morriss (2019) Making visible an invisible trade: Exploring the everyday experiences of doing social work and being a social worker. Qualitative Social Work 19 (2): 267–283. https://doi.org/10.1177/1473325018824629 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1473325018824629
Lillis, Theresa (2008) Ethnography as method, methodology and ‘deep theorising’: Closing the gap between text and context in academic writing research. Written Communication 25 (3): 353–388. https://doi.org/10.1177/0741088308319229 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0741088308319229
Lillis, Theresa (2011) Legitimising dialogue as textual and ideological goal in academic writing for assessment and publication. Arts and Humanities in Higher Education 10 (4): 401–432. https://doi.org/10.1177/1474022211398106 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1474022211398106
Lillis, Theresa (2013) The Sociolinguistics of Writing. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
Lillis, Theresa (2017) Imagined, prescribed and actual text trajectories: The ‘problem’ with case notes in contemporary social work. Text and Talk 37 (4): 485–508. https://doi.org/10.1515/text-2017-0013 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/text-2017-0013
Lillis, Theresa (2021) Academic literacies: Intereses locales, preocupaciones globales? [Academic literacies: local interests, global concerns?] In Natalia Avila-Reyes (ed.) Contribuciones multilingües a la investigación en escritura: Hacia un intercambio académico igualitario [Multilingual Contributions to Writing Research: Towards an Equal Academic Exchange]. Fort Collins, CO: The WAC Clearinghouse, in collaboration with the Facultad de Educación of Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. DOI: https://doi.org/10.37514/INT-B.2021.1404.2.01
Lillis, Theresa and Mary Jane Curry (2010) Academic Writing in a Global Context. London: Routledge.
Lillis, Theresa and Mary Jane Curry (2015) The politics of English, language and uptake: The case of international academic journal article reviews AILA Review 28: 127–150. https://doi.org/10.1075/aila.28.06lil DOI: https://doi.org/10.1075/aila.28.06lil
Lillis, Theresa, Maria Leedham and Alison Twiner (2017) ‘If it’s not written down it didn’t happen’: Contemporary social work as a writing-intensive profession. Journal of Applied Linguistics and Professional Practice 14 (1): 29–52. https://doi.org/10.1558/jalpp.36377 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1558/jalpp.36377
Lillis, Theresa, Maria Leedham and Alison Twiner (2020) Time, the written record, and professional practice: The case of contemporary social work. Written Communication 37 (4): 431-486. https://doi.org/10.1177/0741088320938804 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0741088320938804
Lillis, Theresa, Anna Magyar and Anna Robinson-Pant (2010) An international journal’s attempts to address inequalities in academic publishing: Developing writing for publication programme. Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education 40 (6): 781–800. https://doi.org/10.1080/03057925.2010.523250 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/03057925.2010.523250
Lillis, Theresa and Janet Maybin (eds) (2017) The Dynamics of Textual Trajectories in Professional and Workplace Practice. Special Issue of Text and Talk 37 (4). https://doi.org/10.1515/text-2017-0017 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/text-2017-0017
Lillis, Theresa and Carolyn McKinney (2013) The sociolinguistics of writing in a global context: Objects, lenses, consequences. Journal of Sociolinguistics 17 (4): 415–439. https://doi.org/10.1111/josl.12046 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/josl.12046
Lillis, Theresa and Lucy Rai (2011) A case study of a research-based collaboration around writing in social work. Across the Disciplines 8 (3). Available online: http://wac.colostate.edu/atd/clil/lillis-rai.cfm https://doi.org/10.37514/ATD-J.2011.8.3.12 DOI: https://doi.org/10.37514/ATD-J.2011.8.3.12
Lillis, Theresa and Lucy Rai (2012) Quelle relation entre l’écrit académique et l’écrit professionnel? Une étude de cas dans le domaine du travail social. Pratiques 153–154: 51–70. https://doi.org/10.4000/pratiques.1929 DOI: https://doi.org/10.4000/pratiques.1929
Maybin, Janet (2017) Textual trajectories: Theoretical roots and institutional consequences. Text and Talk 37 (4): 415–435. https://doi.org/10.1515/text-2017-0011 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/text-2017-0011
Myhill, Debra and Pauline Warren (2005) Scaffolds or straitjackets? Critical moments in classroom discourse. Educational Review 57 (1): 55–69. https://doi.org/10.1080/0013191042000274187 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/0013191042000274187
Roberts, Celia (2003) Applied linguistics applied. In Srikant Sarangi and Theo van Leeuwen (eds) Applied Linguistics and Communities of Practice, 132–149. London: Continuum.
Sancha, Cristina and Alba Barbarà-i-Molinero (2016) Academics’ professional identity: A contingency perspective. Social Sciences 5 (6-1): 29–34.
Sarangi, Srikant (2006) The conditions and consequences of professional discourse studies. In Richard Kiely, Pauline Rea-Dickins, Helen Woodfield and Gerald Clibbon (eds) Language, Culture and Identity in Applied Linguistics, 199–220. London: Equinox.
Sarangi, Srikant (2007) Editorial. The anatomy of interpretation: Coming to terms with the analyst’s paradox in professional discourse studies. Text 27 (5): 567–584. https://doi.org/10.1515/TEXT.2007.025 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/TEXT.2007.025
Sarangi, Srikant (2012) Applied linguistics and professional discourse studies. Linguística Aplicada das Profissões 16 (1): 1–18.
Sarangi, Srikant (2016) Communicative expertise: The mutation of expertise and expert systems in contemporary professional practice. Journal of Applied Linguistics and Professional Practice 13 (1–3): 371–392. https://doi.org/10.1558/japl.37507 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1558/japl.37507
Sarangi, Srikant and Christopher N. Candlin (2001) Motivational relevancies: Some methodological reflections on sociolinguistic practice. In Nikolas Coupland, Srikant Sarangi and Christopher N. Candlin (eds) Sociolinguistics and Social Theory, 350–388. London: Pearson.
Sarangi, Srikant and Christopher N. Candlin (2003) Trading between reflexivity and relevance: New challenges for applied linguistics. Applied Linguistics 24 (3): 271–285. https://doi.org/10.1093/applin/24.3.271 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/applin/24.3.271
Sarangi, Srikant and Christopher N. Candlin (2010) Editorial. Applied linguistics and professional practice: Mapping a future agenda. Journal of Applied Linguistics and Professional Practice 7 (1): 1–9. https://doi.org/10.1558/japl.v7i1.1 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1558/japl.v7i1.1
Schön, Donald (1983) The Reflective Practitioner: How Professionals Think in Action. New York: Basic Books.
Shils, Edward (1968) Intellectuals. In E. Shils (ed.) International Encyclopaedia of the Social Sciences Volume 7, 399-415. New York: Macmillan.
Street, Brian (1984) Literacy in Theory and Practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Turner, Joan (2018) On Writtenness: The Cultural Politics of Academic Writing. London: Bloomsbury.
Tusting, Karin, Sharon McCulloch, Ibrar Ul-Haq Butt, Mary Hamilton and David Barton (2019) Academics Writing: The Dynamics of Knowledge Creation. London: Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429197994 DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429197994
Vachon, Brigitte and Jeannette LeBlanc (2011) Effectiveness of past and current critical incident analysis on reflective learning and practice change. Medical Education 45 (9): 894–904. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2923.2011.04042.x DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2923.2011.04042.x
White, Cynthia, Janet Holmes and Vijay Bhatia (2019) Trading places, creating spaces: Chris Candlin’s contribution to aligning research and practice. Language Teaching 52 (4): 476–489. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0261444818000204 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0261444818000204
White, Sue, David Wastell, Karen Broadhurst and Chris Hall (2010) When policy o’erleaps itself: The ‘tragic tale’ of the Integrated Children’s System. Critical Social Policy 30 (3): 405–429. https://doi.org/10.1177/0261018310367675 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0261018310367675
WiSP (2015) WiSP: Writing in Social Work Practice [Open University project website]. Available online: http://www.writinginsocialwork.com/
How to Cite
Equinox Publishing Ltd.