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Title: An investigation into written genres used by professional social workers and taught to social work students in Botswana
Author: Nkateng, Unity
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2013
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Professional communication is growing in the field of applied linguistics. A lot of research has been done on business communication in different work places. However there is not much done on Social work professional communication in Botswana. This study analysed the types of texts produced by social workers in their professional setting, in order to find out whether there is a relationship between the writing done by professional social workers and the writing taught to social workers by the Communication and Study Skills department at the University of Botswana. The research method for this study combines two major research tools in qualitative inquiry which are text analysis and interviews. A range of documents were collected from social workers, these included informal documents, hand written during interviews with clients, to more formal reports that were addressed to relevant officers in the position of making decisions recommended in the reports. The documents were analysed using a new rhetoric approach to genre. I used a combination of text analysis and interviews in order to investigate the contexts in which the texts were produced. Academic texts produced by students during their fieldwork placement were also explored. The texts that the students write are long and unlike the reports produced by professionals, which focuses on the client’s story, they describe what the students have done and achieved. The significance is that; this discrepancy raises questions about the extent to which students are being prepared for professional writing. Students have indicated that their academic writing varies according to the preferences of individual lecturers rather than the requirements of the work situation and that after internship they are never given feedback about their performance and they also need additional training before they engage in fieldwork. I found that both formal and informal documents are written following a set format which reflects the precise institutional function of the text, but experienced social workers can manoeuvre the format creatively to communicate effectively about their clients. I have also found that professional genre has 9 moves while the students had 6 moves. This study aims to improve knowledge of writing of professional social workers and the writing of social work students on fieldwork placements in Botswana which might also be applicable to other settings. It will also provide a detailed discussion of effective pedagogies that will help social work students develop more of the competencies that are recognised in the workplace.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: University of Botswana
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare