Crossing the boundary between finance and law

the collaborative problematisation of professional learning in a postgraduate classroom

Alan Jones*, Sheelagh McCracken

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    1 Citation (Scopus)


    The authors, an applied linguist and an academic lawyer, describe how they collaboratively problematise and co-develop conceptual learning materials for finance professionals enrolled in a postgraduate study-unit called Legal Risk in Finance. Activities are designed to function as "boundary objects" bridging the gap between two professional visions. These "objects" are intended to help the finance professionals engage for the first time with categories of meaning and discursive practices that are often represented in terms superficially similar to those of their own professional domain. The authors also document their own cross-disciplinary collaboration, which takes place in sites of engagement that together constitute a "back region" relative to the classroom's "front region" (Goffman 1959). In this "second site" the applied linguist qua discourse analyst identifies areas of conceptual difficulty and potential misunderstanding. There have been numerous studies of professional acculturation and socialisation, especially in the medical and legal domains; but as yet little in the realms of finance and finance law. Moreover, the classroom is rarely seen as the site of such processes. Yet for many postgraduate students that is precisely where they first confront the categories of a new professional domain. The role of applied linguists in tertiary curriculum development is another neglected research topic involving cross-boundary professional partnerships.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationHandbook of communication in organisations and professions
    EditorsChristopher N. Candlin, Srikant Sarangi
    Place of PublicationBerlin; Boston
    PublisherDe Gruyter
    Number of pages20
    ISBN (Electronic)9783110214222
    ISBN (Print)9783110188318
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

    Publication series

    NameHandbooks of applied linguistics: communication competence language and communication problems practical solutions
    PublisherDe Gruyter Mouton



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