Lai, Venny, Alfred Lee, and Vivian Li
Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Venny Lai
English Department
HK Polytechnic University
Hung Hom, Kln.
Hong Kong

fax: (852) 2553 2742

Strand: semiosis in language

Title: Modelling Professional Culture through Peer-Editing

English for Professional Purposes (EPP) learner culture is studied through the vantage point of peer review and editing behaviour of university ESP students. The objective of this paper is a learner-empowering one: we believe a writing and editing skills development program that is modelled on Hallidayan systemic functional linguistics enables students to work not as decontextualized 'language learners' but strategically, as neophyte professionals under training.

The paper, which is based on a research on peer editing in ESP modules conducted at Hong Kong Polytechnic University and Chinese University, focuses on editing strategies and patterns of first and second year ESL learners from various disciplines on a generic level. The study builds on previous research on peer reviews, but we take issue with the fact that the learners and the study of learner strategies have not been properly contextualized. Hence an SFL framework has been adopted in studying learner 'response stance' (Mangelsdorf and Schumberger, 1992) as part of our efforts to integrate language teaching with professional culture. Areas of concern involve learner perception of professional development in writing, role of editing in a writing program and self assessment skills.