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Collaborator, applied linguist, academic, expense? Exploring the professional identities of academic language and learning professionals

Abstract
The complex role of academic language and learning (ALL) professionals in higher education is poorly understood, even though it contributes to key outcomes such as improved study skills, academic language enhancement, curriculum development and student retention. In this paper, we explore the multiple professional identities of people working in this field. Ten ALL practitioners employed in Australian universities took part in semi-structured interviews exploring their roles and the contextual constraints and affordances of their work. We elaborate on eight discrete subject positions that emerged from the participants’ data: the collaborator, the relationship manager, the applied linguist, the teacher, the content (non) expert, the academic, the strategist, and the expense. We draw on a critical realist frame to articulate the interplay between structure and individual agency within these identities, highlighting the range of expertise that ALL practitioners bring to the role.
Type
Journal Article
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Citation
Date
2022
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Rights
© 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.