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					Department of English, Hong Kong Polytechnic University

 Language and Culture: Creating and Fostering Global Communities
               The National University of Malaysia
                          5-6 May 2009




    The Discourse Flows of the Professionals
          in Today's Globalised World
                         Winnie Cheng




                                                                   1
        Department of English
Mission: Linguistic excellence in professional contexts

Programmes
   BA (Hons) in Language Studies for the Professions (phasing out)
   BA (Hons) in English Studies for the Professions (since 2008/09)
   BA (Hons) in English for Business and Professional
   Communication (part-time, self-financed)
   MA in English for the Professions (all MA programmes are
   mixed-mode, self-financed)
   MA in English Language Studies
   MA in English Language Teaching
   MA in English Language Arts (starting 2009/10)
   MPhil and PhD programmes
 Research Centre for Professional
Communication in English (RCPCE)

Established in Jan 2006

Mission: To pursue applied research
and consultancy so as to deepen our
understanding of professional
communication in English and better
serve the communication needs of
professional communities.
Two goals of RCPCE research projects

1.   To provide a description of the
     purposes, nature and patterns of
     communication through the medium of
     English in business and professional
     contexts.

2.   To promote ESP teaching and research
     through collaboration across different
     disciplines, businesses and professions.
                 Recent projects

1.   Language Use in the Professional World in Hong Kong

2.   Hong Kong Professional Corpora: Towards the
     Computer-assisted Investigation of English Phraseology

3.   Assessment of Professional Communicative
     Competencies

4.   Discourse Processes and Products: Professionals in
     Hong Kong

5.   An Initial Professional Communication Audit in the Field
     of Logistics: Project Management in Geomatics
     Research methodologies
Textual and corpus-based analyses:
   websites
   primarily written discourses collected from different research sites
   critical discourse analysis, critical genre analysis, pragmatics,
   communication theories, conversation analysis, etc.

Ethnography
   field notes
   Professional Discourse Checklist

Survey research:
   interviews at different project stages
   Participating professionals, industry, professional associations,
   etc.



                                                                          6
Online RCPCE Profession-specific Corpora

http://langbank.engl.polyu.edu.hk/HKFSC/

1.   Hong Kong Financial Services Corpus (HKFSC)
     (6.7 million words)
2.   Hong Kong Engineering Corpus (HKEC) (5.2
     million words)
3.   Hong Kong Corpus of Spoken English (HKCSE)
     (1 million words)
4.   Hong Kong Budget Speech Corpus
5.   Hong Kong Surveying and Construction
     Engineering Corpus, on-going


                                                   7
   Hong Kong Financial Services Corpus
           (6.7 million words)
Annual Report            Interim Report
Brochure                 Insurance Product Description
Bank Service Charge      Investment Product Description
Code                     Model Agreement
Corporate Announcement   Media Release
Circular                 Ordinance
Fund Description         Procedures
Fund Report              Principle
Factsheet                Prospectus
Guidelines               Rules
General Meetings         Results Announcement
Insurance Policy         Standards
                         Speech
                                                          8
      Example of a discourse flow
prior discourses   prior discourses       prior discourses    prior discourses

                                                                  

telephone discussion   project report         meeting        prior e-mail

                                                              

                                 e-mail

                                                           

   predicted e-mail       predicted meeting            predicted telephone
                                                 9:30



                                         9:31-
                                                 9:00-




     12:00
              11:30
                       11:00
                                10:30
                                         10:00
                                                                                       Date:




     11:31-
              11:01-
                       10:31-
                                10:01-
                                                               Read e-mail

                                                               Write e-mail

                                                               Read memo

                                                               Write memo

                                                                Read letter

                                                                Write letter

                                                               Read report

                                                                Write report

                                                           Read covering note

                                                           Write covering note

                                                           Unclassified (Read)

                                                           Unclassified (Write)



                                                           Business phone call

                                                          Informal office phone call

                                                           Personal phone call

                                                             Formal meeting

                                                             Informal meeting

                                                          Listen to presentation

                                                            Give presentation
                                                                                               Professional Discourse Checklist




                                                         Receive verbal instructions

                                                         Give verbal instructions

                                                         Business-related discussion

                                                            Informal office talk

                                                               Unclassified




                                                             Internal/External




                                                          Number of participants
                                                            (excluding self)


                                                           Language (C, P, E)
10




                                                         Whether discourse collected
             Individual participants
1.   Fun
     •      Communications Manager, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre

2.   Paul
     •      Electrical and Mechanical Engineer, Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation

3.   Kate
     •      Marketing Manager, ABC International (Hong Kong) Co. Ltd.

4.   Yan
     •      “officer in a supporting unit to provide support (esp. drafting/editing/translating
            documents) to other staff members”

5.   5. Andy
     •     IT Manager, Bank

6.   Edward
     –    PR Manager, a five-star hotel




                                                                                                  11
                          Fun: Communications Manager

Communicative activities            Day 1   Day 2   Day 3   Day 4   Day 5
Read Email                           21      15      14      34      21
Write Email                          12      11       6      16      6
Read Covering Note                                    2       1
Write Covering Note                  3        3                      4
Unclassified (Read)                           3       1
Unclassified (Write)                 1
Business Phone Call                  15      11       5       4      9
Informal Office Phone Call           1
Personal Phone Call                  3        1       2
Formal Meeting                                1               1
Informal Meeting                     2        2       1       1      2
Give Verbal Instruction              3        6       4       3      5
Business Related Discussion          3        1       3       2
Informal Office Talk                 1        6       5       4      2
Unclassified                         5        2       4       3
                                                                            12
                           Total:    70      62      47      69      49
                         Paul: Electrical and Mechanical Engineer
Communicative activities               Day 1   Day 2   Day 3   Day 4   Day 5
Read Email                              19      20      9       16      20
Write Email                             3       5       4       3       4
Read Letter                                     1
Write Report                                    1               4
Read Contract Specification                     1       1
Consultant's Comments                   2
Request of Information                  3
Read Covering Note                              1
Business Phone Call                     3       6       3       4       1
Informal Office Phone Call              1       2       1               1
Personal Phone Call                                             1       3
Formal Meeting                                                  1
Receive Verbal Instruction                              1
Business Related Discussion                     2       2
Informal Office Talk                            1       3               2
Site Inspection                         4
Unclassified                            2
                                                                         13
                              Total:    37      40      24      29      31
                              Kate: Marketing Manager


Communicative activities           Day 1   Day 2   Day 3   Day 4   Day 5
Read Email                          9       5       17      20      12
Write Email                         9       6        5      11      8
Write Letter                                                        1
Write Covering Note                 1
Business Phone Call                 3       4        6
Informal Office Phone Call          4                1      1       1
Personal Phone Call                 2       1
Formal Meeting                                       1      2
Informal Meeting                    3       3                       5
Receive Verbal Instruction          1       2        1
Give Verbal Instruction             3       1
Unclassified                        1       3               8       1
                          Total:    36      25      31      42      28
                                                                        14
                             Yan: Officer in a Supporting Unit

Communicative activities              Day 1   Day 2   Day 3      Day 4   Day 5
                                                                  14       8
Read Email                              8       8      15
Write Email                             9      11       3         12       1

Business Phone Call                     2       3       5          2

Informal Meeting                        3
                                                                           1
Receive Verbal Instruction              2

Business Related Discussion             1       1       4

Informal Office Talk                    3       1       3          2       3
                                                                           2
Unclassified

                             Total:    28      24      30         30      15
                                                                           15
Andy: IT Manager




  www.engl.polyu.edu.hk/RCPCE   16
  Quantitative comparison of communicative
         activities in a five-day period

       Number of occurrences
1. Fun  397
2. Paul 161
3. Kate 162
4. Yan  127
5. Andy 317




                                             17
Quantitative comparison of common activities over five
         days: vertical and horizontal reading
Communicative activities      Fun   Paul   Kate   Yan
Read Email                    105   84     63     53
Write Email                   51    19     39     36
Business Phone Call           44    17     13     12
Informal Office Phone Call     1     5      7
Personal Phone Call            6     4      3
Formal Meeting                 2     1      3
Informal Meeting               8            11     3
Give Verbal Instruction       21            4
Receive Verbal Instruction           1      4      3
Business Related Discussion    9     4             6

Informal Office Talk          18     6            12

Read Covering Note             3     1
Write Covering Note           10            1
Unclassified                  14     2     13     2
                                                   18
   Communicative activities specific to
           profession(al)

Paul - Electrical and Mechanical Engineer

  Read Contract Specifications
  Read Consultant's Comments
  Fill in and read Request of Information Forms
  Site Inspection




                                                  19
                               Fun
                                        English   Chinese    Both
                      Internal External  (E)        (C)     (E + C) Frequency

Day 1 (11 Apr 2005)     58       11       37        31        2        70

Day 2 (12 Apr 2005)     52       16       32        30        0        62

Day 3 (13 Apr 2005)     35       12       21        26        0        47

Day 4 (14 Apr 2005)     54       14       45        20        3        69

Day 5 (15 Apr 2005)     41        6       30        16        1        49

             Total:     240      59     165        123        6       297


                                                                         20
                                 Paul
                                             English Chinese Both
                      Internal External Both  (E)      (C)   (E + C) Frequency

Day 1 (9 Jan 2006)      5        6      1      12      0        0       37

Day 2 (10 Jan 2006)     4        9      0      13      0        0       40

Day 3 (11 Jan 2006)     7        2      0      9       0        0       24

Day 4 (12 Jan 2006)     7        3      0      9       1        1       31

Day 5 (13 Jan 2006)     8        3      0      11      0        0       17

             Total:     31       23     1     54       1        1       149

                                                                        21
                                      Kate
                                             English Chinese Both
                      Internal External Both  (E)      (C)   (E + C) Frequency

Day 1 (12 Nov 2007)     17       10     0      18      18       0       36

Day 2 (13 Nov 2007)     11       9      0      13      12       0       25

Day 3 (14 Nov 2007)     8        17     0      24       7       0       31

Day 4 (15 Nov 2007)     23       9      2      38       4       0       42

Day 5 (16 Nov 2007)     16       8      1      19       9       0       28

             Total:     75       53     3    112       50       0       162


                                                                        22
                                      Yan
                                             English Chinese Both
                      Internal External Both   (E)     (C)   (E + C) Frequency

Day 1 (12 Nov 2007)     17       11     0      16              1        27

Day 2 (13 Nov 2007)     14       10     0      18      6       0        24

Day 3 (14 Nov 2007)     12       18     0      13      12      5        30

Day 4 (15 Nov 2007)     10       20     0      23      4       3        30

Day 5 (16 Nov 2007)     6        5      4      2       10      3        15

             Total:     59       64     4     72       32      12       126

                                                                       23
           Internal and external
              communication


Participant Internal   External    Total

Fun         240 (81%) 59 (19%)     299

Paul        31 (58%)   23 (42%)    54

Kate        75 (59%)   53 (41%)    128

Yan         59 (48%)   64 (52%)    123
                                           24
       Use of English vs. Chinese

Participant    English     Chinese

Fun            165 (57%)   123 (43%)

Paul           54 (100%)   0

Kate           112 (70%)   50 (30%)

Yan            72 (70%)    32 (30%)
                                       25
Andy: IT Manager: 109 discourse flows




           www.engl.polyu.edu.hk/RCPCE   26
Andy: Discourse Flow 007
                                                                                                                    Time
                                      Role of     No. of        No. of                                             Frame       No. of
          Subject         RE: / FW:                                      No. of PR       No. of SR   Sent Date
                                       Andy     Participants   Senders                                             (Dates,     Texts
                                                                                                                  Duration)

1   Migration Concept     N.A.        N.A.                13         1               8           4   2-Apr-08

2                         FW:         N.A.                 2         1               1           0   3-Apr-08

3                         FW:         N.A.                 6         1               3           2   9-Apr-08

4                         RE:         N.A.                 7         1               1           5   9-Apr-08

5                         RE:         N.A.                 6         1               1           4   9-Apr-08

6                         RE:         N.A.                 6         1               1           4   9-Apr-08

                                                                                                      11-Apr-
7                         FW:         N.A.                 3         1               2           0
                                                                                                          08
                                                                                                                  2 Apr 08
                                                                                                      11-Apr-         -
8                         RE:         N.A.                 3         1               1           1                18 Jun 08
                                                                                                          08                    12
                                                                                                                     (7,
                                                                                                      11-Apr-    2mths16days
9                         FW:         N.A.                 6         1               1           4
                                                                                                          08          )

    Systematic data
1                                                                                                     23-Apr-
    profile               N.A.        N.A.                 3         1               1           1
0                                                                                                         08
    for PB


    PB Products -
1
    Data Profiling from   N.A.        PR                  14         1           11              2   17-Jun-08
1
    GDW (crest)

1
                          RE:         N.A.                 2         1               1           0   18-Jun-08
2
Andy: Discourse Flow 019
                                                                                                                       Time
                                            Role of     No. of        No. of                                          Frame        No. of
            Subject           RE: / FW:                                        No. of PR   No. of SR   Sent Date
                                             Andy     Participants   Senders                                          (Dates,      Texts
                                                                                                                     Duration)

    Meeting minute -
    GCS HK Wave 1
1                             N.A.        PR                    14         1           1         12      2-Jun-08
    project presentation on
    28 May
2                             RE:         SR                     5         1           1          3      2-Jun-08
3                             RE:         SR                     7         1           1          5      4-Jun-08
4                             RE:         Sender                12         1           1         10      6-Jun-08
5                             RE:         PR                    11         1           1          9      6-Jun-08
6                             RE:         Sender                11         1           1          9      6-Jun-08
                                          Sender &                                                                    2 Jun 08
7                             RE:                               12         1           2          9    11-Jun-08
                                          PR                                                                              -
                                                                                                                                    12
8                             RE:         PR & SR               12         1           1         10    11-Jun-08     16 Jun 08
                                                                                                                    (6, 15 days)
9                             RE:         Sender                11         1           1          9    13-Jun-08
    <Urgent> please
    confirm
1   approval from RPCCB
                              N.A.        SR                     6         1           2          3    16-Jun-08
0   GCS HK Wave 1
    project presentation on
    28 May
1
                              RE:         SR                     6         1           1          4    16-Jun-08
1
1
                              RE:         PR                     3         1           2          0    16-Jun-08
2
 Analysis of two discourse flows
                      Discourse Flow Discourse Flow
                           007            019
Total number of
emails
                           12              12

Number of emails
sent / forwarded to
Andy                    1 (No. 11)    12 (No. 1-12)
    Discourse Flow 019
                                Role of                          No. of
             Subject                      RE: / FW:   I/E                     Sender   No. of PR   (no.) U / D / H   No. of SR   (no.) U / D / H
                                 Andy                          Participants
     Meeting minute - GCS
                                                                                                                                 2U1D3H6
1    HK Wave 1 project        PR          N.A.        7I6?         14           H         1                             12
     presentation on 28 May                                                                                                         ?

2                             SR          RE:          4I           5           H         1             1H              3             2H
3                             SR          RE:         4I2?          7           H         1             1H              5           2H2?
                                                      10 I 1                                                                     3U1D5H1
4                             Sender      RE:                      12                     1             1H              10
                                                        ?                                                                           ?
                                                                                                                                 3U1D4H1
5                             PR          RE:         9I1?         11           H         1                             9
                                                                                                                                    ?
                                                                                                                                 3U1D4H1
6                             Sender      RE:         8I2?         11                     1             1?              9
                                                                                                                                    ?
                              Sender &                                                                                           3U1D4H1
7                                         RE:         9I1?         12                     2             1H              9
                              PR                                                                                                    ?
                                                                                                                                 3U1D4H1
8                             PR & SR     RE:         9I1?         12           H         1                             10
                                                                                                                                    ?

                                                                                                                                 3U1D4H1
9                             Sender      RE:         9I1?         11                     1             1H              9
                                                                                                                                    ?

     <Urgent> please
     confirm
     approval from
1
     RPCCB                    SR          N.A.        3I2?          6           H         2           1H1?              3           1H1?
0
     GCS HK Wave 1
     project presentation
     on 28 May
1
                              SR          RE:         3I2?          6           H         1             1U              4           1H2?
1
1
                              PR          RE:         1I1?          3           H         2             1?              0            N.A.
2
                  Analysis of Andy’s role
          Role
   No. of times
    (Email no.)
                   Sender            PR               SR              Mix




Discourse                             1
Flow 007                           (no. 11)

                                                                  Sender & PR
Discourse                                              4            (no. 7)
                       3               3
Flow 019                                         (no. 2, 3, 10,
                  (no. 4,6,9 )   (no. 1, 5,12)                     PR & SR
                                                      11)
                                                                    (no. 8)
            Analysis of internal or external communication
              Discourse Flow
                                          007                  019
Email no.
               1                                              7I6?
               2                                                4I
               3                                              4I2?
               4                                              10 I 1 ?
               5                                              9I1?
               6                                              8I2?
               7                                              9I1?
               8                                              9I1?
               9                                              9I1?
              10                                              3I2?
              11                         5I8?                 3I2?
              12                                              1I1?


Note:
I: Internal Email         E: External Email     ? : unknown
          Analysis of relationship of participants with Andy
                         (Discourse Flow 007)




     Role of     No. of
                              Senders   No. of PR   (no.) U / D / H   No. of SR   (no.) U / D / H
      Andy     Participants




11   PR            14           H          11        2D1H7?              2           1H1?
               Analysis of relationship of participants with Andy
                             (Discourse Flow 019)



          Role of      No. of
                                    Sender   No. of PR   (no.) U / D / H   No. of SR   (no.) U / D / H
          Andrew     Participants

1    PR                  14           H         1                             12       2U1D3H6?

2    SR                   5           H         1             1H              3             2H

3    SR                   7           H         1             1H              5           2H2?

4    Sender              12                     1             1H              10       3U1D5H1?

5    PR                  11           H         1                             9        3U1D4H1?

6    Sender              11                     1             1?              9        3U1D4H1?

7    Sender & PR         12                     2             1H              9        3U1D4H1?

8    PR & SR             12           H         1                             10       3U1D4H1?

9    Sender              11                     1             1H              9        3U1D4H1?

10   SR                   6           H         2           1H1?              3           1H1?

11   SR                   6           H         1             1U              4           1H2?

12   PR                   3           H         2             1?              0            N.A.
        Inter-faculty research project

An Initial Professional Communication
   Audit in the Field of Logistics: Project
   Management in Geomatics, 2005-2008
    •      Department of English (ENGL)
    •      Department of Land Surveying and
           Geo-Informatics (LSGI)

•       Cheng, W. and Mok, E. (2008). Discourse Processes and
        Products: Land Surveyors in Hong Kong. English for
        Specific Purposes, 27(1): 57-73.

                                                                35
                      Project site

A construction site office of the consultancy firm - “Road XX and
Associated Roadworks”

The site office, set up for more than a year, provided consultancy to
a main Contractor employed by the Hong Kong Government to work
on a highway project.

The site office had 83 staff members in five departments:
1. Land Surveying (19 staff members)
2. Works and Environment
3. Contractual and Mainline
4. Quantity Surveying
5. Administration



                                                                        36
  ‘Fly-on-the-wall’ case study
Six whole days in Feb 2006 in Land Surveying
Department

A trained research staff
  took field notes about communicative events and discursive
  activities in the office
  shadowed a few land surveyors in office and on site
  interviewed some land surveyors
  collected samples of written discourses

Selected land surveyors filled in a „Professional
Discourse Checklist‟



                                                               37
    Main discourse products and medium of
         communication in LS Department

Written discourse                     Medium of communication
1. Design Plan                        Linguistic text in English, with maps,
                                      graphs and diagrams
2. Tender invitations and proposals   English

3. Business letters                   English
4. External and internal e-mails      English
5. Project Works                      Linguistic text in English, with maps,
                                      graphs and diagrams
6. Phase Division of Project Works    Linguistic text in English, with maps,
                                      graphs and diagrams
7. Forms: ‘Request for Inspection’    English
and ‘Request for Information’
8. Contractor Submission Report       English                          38
Spoken discourse             Medium of communication
1. Formal and informal       •Most formal meetings are attended
meetings                     by RLS, and sometimes by SSOs;
                             those with government and
                             contractors are conducted in
                             English

                             •Informal meetings are primarily in
                             Cantonese, and are in English with
                             English-speaking land surveyors
                             working for the Contractor

2. Phone calls               Cantonese
3. Site visits and inspections Cantonese



                                                                   39
     Discourse processes and products among
        parties in external communication

Parties involved in external     External discourse products
communication                    between different parties and
                                 Contractor and Sub-contractors
Client (Highways Department,     Contracts
Hong Kong Government SAR)
The Consultancy Firm             Letters
Resident Land Surveyor in LS     Meetings, e-mails, Project Works
Department of Consultancy Firm   (text, maps, graphs, diagrams)
Senior Surveying Officer in LS   Meetings, e-mails, Phase Division
Department of Consultancy Firm   of Project Works
Surveying Officer in LS          ‘Request for Inspection’, ‘Request
Department of Consultancy Firm   for Information’, Phase Division of
                                 Project Works, meetings, e-mails


                                                                  40
  Discourse processes and products among parties in
               internal communication
Parties involved   Upward communication          Downward
in internal                                      communication
communication
The Consultancy    Meetings (including           Meetings (including
Firm               telephone meetings), e-       telephone meetings), e-
                   mails, Project Works (text,   mails, Project Works (text,
                   maps, graphs, diagrams)       maps, graphs, diagrams)

Resident Land      E-mails, Phase Division of Project Works (text, maps,
Surveyor           Project Works (text, maps, graphs, diagrams), Phase
                   graphs, diagrams)          Division of Project Works
                                              (text, maps, graphs,
                                              diagrams)
Senior Surveying   E-mails, meetings, Phase      Meetings, e-mails, Phase
Officer            Division of Project Works     Division of Project Works
                   (text, maps, graphs,          (text, maps, graphs,
                   diagrams)                     diagrams)
Surveying Officer E-mails, meetings              ‘Request for Inspection
                                                 Form’, ‘Request for
                                                 Information Form’, e-mails
                                                                         41
               Project Works (text, maps, graphs, diagrams)
         Drawn up by Highways Department, Hong Kong Government

                                           Meetings between parties
     Invitation for tenders

                                             Meeting notes/minutes

       Tender proposals
                                          E-mails (internal and external)

                                         Phase Division of Project Works
Letters of acceptance/rejection          (text, maps, graphs, diagrams)

                                            Meetings between parties
  Contracts between parties
                                              Meeting notes/minutes

                                                 Daily worksheets/
Intertextuality and interdiscursivity      Site inspection report forms
   in discourse flow of LS project
            management                    E-mails (internal and external)
                                                                            42
   Discourse flow key

Communication remains at this level

Communication copied down

Communication copied up




                                      43
                 Discourse flow (down)
                    letters, tendering proposals
        Client (i.e. Govt.)  contracts contractor
                                   
  The Company  meetings (including telephone meetings)  contractor
                              e-mails, letters
          project works (text, maps, graphs, diagrams)
                                    e-mails, letters
  Resident Land Surveyor  meetings  contractor
                         meetings  e-mails
                   project works  phase division of project works
(text, maps, graphs, diagrams)  (text, maps, graphs, diagrams)
         SSO  e-mails, meetings, plan of work contractor
           meetings meetings  e-mails e-mails
                                       phase division of project works
                                   (text, maps, graphs, diagrams)
          SO  reports, phase division of works  contractor
                                   meetings, e-mails

                                                                          44
                Discourse flow (up)
                    letters, tendering proposals
         Client (i.e. Govt.)  contracts contractor
                                       
The Company  meetings (including telephone meetings)  contractor
                           e-mails, letters
               project works (text, maps, graphs, diagrams)
                                        e-mails, letters
  Resident Land Surveyor  meetings  contractor
                       meetings            e-mails e-mails
                 project works            phase division of project works
(text, maps, graphs, diagrams)  (text, maps, graphs, diagrams)
                   SSO  e-mails meetings contractor
           meetings meetings  e-mails e-mails

                                     phase division of project works
                                      (text, maps, graphs, diagrams)
                     SO  report forms  contractor
                      meetings e-mails

                                                                             45
Intertextuality and interdiscursity
   Intertextuality: the intertwining of textual
   connections among texts within the discourse flow
   Interdiscursivity: the mix of genres and
   discourses within a text

Discourses studied include:
1. Project works – text, maps, graphs, diagrams
2. E-mail
3. „Request for Information‟ (RIF) form, etc.




                                                       46
Intertextuality and interdiscursivity in
 discourse flow of an external e-mail




                                           47
                Request for Information
                Subject: Construction Detail for the U-channel along xxx Retaining Wall
‘Request for
Information’ PLEASE SUPPLY THE FOLLOWING DETAILS:
 forma (RFI
    #3)      QUERY:

                According to your response to our previous RFI No. xxxx[1], the finishing
                ground level for the front and xxx xx Road – xxx xxx side of xxx Retaining
                Wall shall be followed the level as indicated in the Contract Drawings No.
                xxxxx/xxxxx and xxxxx i.e. +6.3mPD.

                Based on the above information, the proposed slope profile from the end of
                xxx Retaining Wall at xxx xx Road – xxx xxx side to xx xxx is too steep and
                the proposed U-channel along the toe slope cannot be constructed. (For your
                easy reference, sections of the slope is attached).

                Please review and advise, otherwise we will proceed the works as per your
  [1]An ‘x’
                previous response.
 represents
one letter or
  one digit
                RESPONSE:
anonymised.
                The u-channel along the xxx xx Road side of the xxx retaining wall shall be
                constructed to chainage 187.5 as per the attached Sketch No. xx/xxxxxxx.
                                                                                            48
                Encl.
              Intertextuality in RFI form
(Enclosed project Works: design sketches) (Prior texts)

Request for Information
Contractor‟s name
To: The Company
cc:
Subject: Construction Details for the U-channel along AB2 Retaining Wall
According to your response to our previous RFI No. XXXX, the finishing
    ground level for the front and XXXX Road – the XXXX side of the AB2
    retaining Wall shall be followed the level as indicated in the Contract
    Drawings No. XXXX, i.e. +6.3mPD.
Based on the above information, the proposed slope profile from the end of
    AB2 Retaining Wall at XXXX Road – XXXX side to CH 218 is too steep
  and the proposed U-channel along the toe slope cannot be constructed.
    (For your easy reference, sections of the slope is attached).
Please review and advise, otherwise we will proceed the works as per your
    previous response.

                                                                              49
     Intertextuality in RFI form
Response
From: The Company
to: contractor
  The u-channel along the XXXX Road side of
  the AB2 retaining wall shall be constructed
  to chainage 187.5 as per the attached
  Sketch No. XXXXX.




                                                50
                 Analysis of intertextuality in RFI form

Intertextual link with preceding texts   Intertextual link with enclosed texts

your response to our previous RFI No.    U-channel along xxx Retaining Wall
xxxx (line 5)                            (line 2)
our previous RFI No. xxxx (line 5)       the finishing ground level for the front
                                         and xxx xx Road – xxx xxx side of xxx
                                         Retaining Wall (lines 5-7)
the above information (line 9)           the Contract Drawings No.
                                         xxxxx/xxxxx and xxxxx i.e. +6.3mPD
                                         (lines 7-8)
your previous response. (lines 13-14)    the proposed slope profile from the
                                         end of xxx Retaining Wall at xxx xx
                                         Road – xxx xxx side (lines 9-10)
                                         the proposed U-channel along the toe
                                         slope (lines 11-12)
                                         For your easy reference, sections of
                                         the slope is attached (lines 11-12)
                                         The u-channel along the xxx xx Road
                                         side of the xxx retaining wall (line 16)
                                         the attached Sketch No. xx/xxxxxxx51
     Analysis of interdiscursivity in RFI form

1. A linguistic text that requests for
   information
2. A form, with boxes to take and blanks to
   fill in
3. „Query‟ and „Response pair‟ (c.f.
   adjacency pair in conversation analysis)




                                                 52
            Conclusions
The discourses of land surveyors might not
be as „glamorous‟ or as inherently
interesting to a wider audience as the
discourses of doctors, lawyers, politicians
etc. who have all been the subjects in a
number of professional communication
studies. Nonetheless, this study
demonstrates that land survey professionals
engage in a complex web of profession-
related discourses worthy of study.


                                              53
Need to capture all the discourses in the
discourse flow in order to fully analyse each
one and how they all fit together.

Need for stakeholders' input to fully
understand the discourses and their inter-
relationships.

Need to study the ways in which language
use evolves within the discourse flow.
                                                54
Novice Land Surveyors need to acquire
these profession-specific discourse skills:
   •   ability to refer to and accurately reference prior
       discourses
   •   ability to summarise prior discourses and then
       succinctly revise specific aspects of them
   •   heightened awareness of all of the parties
       involved in a particular discourse flow
   •   mastery of multimodal texts and communication


                                                            55
Land surveyors at all levels of the
profession engage in high stakes discourses
every single day. For example, the RFI, one
of the staple discourses throughout a
project, can, and not infrequently do, result
in legal claims between the parties often
over financial matters (i.e. disputes over
Variation Orders).
The few examples of findings produced by
academic (REPCE, English Department)
and business (e.g. engineering, land
surveying, financial services, etc.)
collaborative research have illustrated areas
of useful investigations that have potential
benefits and value for various interest
groups and stakeholders, including the
government, business people, business
organisations, ESP and LSP specialists,
researchers, and learners.


             www.engl.polyu.edu.hk/RCPCE        57
In each of the examples, the findings were
discussed and disseminated through project
meetings with the companies and seminars for
professional associations.

In the past year, seminars have been organised for
accountants, securities and investment
practitioners, and engineers. Meetings and
seminars have shown to be a very useful platform
for further communication between academics and
business practitioners.

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                       References
Bhatia, V. (2004 ). Worlds of Written Discourse. London: Continuum.
Cheng, W. and Mok, E. (2008). Discourse Processes and Products:
   Land Surveyors in Hong Kong. English for Specific Purposes, 27(1):
   57-73.
Cheng, W. (2009). Professional communicative competences: Four key
   industries in Hong Kong. In W. Cheng and K.C.C. Kong, (Eds.).
   Professional Communication: Collaboration between Academics and
   Practitioners (pp. 31-50). Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press.
Cheng, W. (in press). Bridging the divide between business
   communication research and business communication practice. In F.
   Bargiela-Chiappini (Ed), The Handbook of Business Discourse
   .Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.




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