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Teaching Writing in Australian Vocational Education and Training Contexts: The Need for a New Professional Development Approach and Commitment

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Chapter Summary

In recognition of international survey findings consistently showing that about half of Australian adults need to improve their language and literacy and numeracy skills, the national government has funded a number of key initiatives within the vocational and training sector. One of these is the provision of professional development resources, including resources to assist in the teaching of writing, for trainers. Using a unit of competency within the engineering domain as an exemplar, this chapter critically evaluates the scope and theoretical underpinnings of these resources. What is evident from this examination is that the guidance that is available within this material is minimal and not reflective of current research in the field of writing. A number of recommendations are proffered, including the use of models of authentic workplace texts showing their generic and individual features and the exploration of studies, within both the research areas of disciplinary literacy and systemic functional linguistics, to determine whether the insights and practices within this corpus could address the prevailing serious gap in professional development advice available to vocational education trainers.



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