Where the academy meets the workplace: communication needs of tertiary-level accounting students

Stephen Moore, Hui Ling Xu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


While the accounting profession in Australia has long stressed the need for accountants to possess strong communication skills, these remain largely undefined, and certainly uninformed by any serious linguistic analysis. There is a considerable gap between the communication skills actually developed in accounting programs at Australian universities and those needed in the accounting workplace (see, for example, Burns & Moore 2008a; Moore & Burns 2008). This chapter reports research at the intersection of higher education and the workplace through its investigation of the communicative skills demonstrated in simulated role plays by Chinese-background undergraduate accounting students and their lecturers. Our chapter has two points of focus. First, the performances of the lecturers are analyzed for move structure and pragmatics, and used as benchmarks to judge the performances of the students, revealing considerable differences in approach and success in terms of task fulfillment. Second, the value of triangulation using a bilingual stimulated recall protocol (that is, the intersection between languages (first (L1) and second (L2)) and cultures (first (C1) and second (C2)) is explored. The results show the value of simulated role plays in developing an accountant’s persona, while a self-access DVD created from the role plays highlights important pedagogical issues and implications.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIntersections
Subtitle of host publicationapplied linguistics as a meeting place
EditorsElke Stracke
Place of PublicationNewcastle upon Tyne
PublisherCambridge Scholars Publishing
Number of pages17
ISBN (Print)9781443866545
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • accounting discourse
  • bilingual stimulated recall
  • accounting simulations


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