168 | 30, pp. 167-175 | doxa.comunicación

January-June of 2020

Professional genres in disciplinary training: the case of the Bachelor of Communication Degree

ISSN: 1696-019X / e-ISSN: 2386-3978

The bibliographic review shows that there are works that describe and analyze some of the genres communicators use; however, these works mainly come from the field of Journalism. Therefore they do not examine the wide variety of written and oral texts, which are typically produced by communication graduate professionals.

The project we present is carried out in the University Salesiana (UNISAL), which is based in Bahía Blanca (Argentina), and it is the only institution in the city that has a Degree in Communication. The project is currently funded by the University’s Research Secretariat (RES. CS. N°04/2019).

As Social Communication research such as Intriago Macías’ and Quevedo Arnaiz’s (2016) show, in recent decades, education models –although not always formally based on their curricula– have focused on promoting the development of different skills in the professional field. These skills go beyond the contents acquired throughout education; reading, writing, and speaking are some of the skills we can find among them. In this sense, the guiding purpose of this research is to address the problem of professional genres in the Bachelor of Arts in Communication to design a representative corpus of oral and written texts that graduates will have to understand and produce throughout their professional career.

This is relevant because it is precisely the mastery of a discursive community’s texts, which allows students to become a part of it (Cassany, 2010). We focus on the texts that have not yet been studied or those that have been considered less, which also form part of a communication worker’s daily professional tasks because texts, according to Bazerman and Paradis (1991), maintain professions’ organisation, power, and activity. This is the case of verbal modality genres produced interprofessionally and among professionals and non-expert members of the community.

Professionals are required to have an effective command of the discourses generated by their activities as society is becoming increasingly specialized; therefore, these forms of communication must be examined (López Ferrero, 2002: 196). To be able to consolidate these competencies and train professionals that are prepared for their work in the field, it is essential to gain detailed knowledge of the material produced both at university and in a professional’s daily working life (Parodi, 2015: 77).

Parodi emphasizes the need for research “based on a corpus of broad, ecological and diversified texts” (Parodi and Burdiles, 2015: 32) in the study of academic and professional genres. Only then will it be possible to form a solid empirical basis for specialized literacy (Parodi, 2015), which is the ultimate goal of this research.

The objective of this project is to contribute to strengthening professional writing and oral skills in the Bachelor of Communication.

Among the specific aims are the following: To create a representative corpus of the standard genres in a communication graduate’s professional field and to promote the creation of teaching and evaluation tools by the different chairs according to the work demands and the profile of communicators trained at UNISAL.

2. Background

The studies on academic and professional genres have primarily focused on the written texts from various disciplines. The first investigations were carried out in the Anglo-Saxon sphere by Swales (1990), Bazerman and Paradis (1991), Bathia