Céad mίle fáilte: a corpus-based study of the development of a community of practice within the Irish hotel management training sector
MetadataShow full item record
This thesis examines the discourse of a unique third-level academic institution in order to identify the variety of linguistic features, which align it, first of all, to the higher education sector in general, but more specifically to a specific professional world where students are being educated for their future careers. Specifically, a college of hotel management education in the south of Ireland is the locus of research. Students complete a four-year Business Degree in International Hotel Management during which time they gain academic and theoretical knowledge along with practical industry experience during placement internships in the industry. Data collection using oral recordings spanned a twelve-month period and two academic years. This allowed for a comprehensive matrix of recording events encapsulating the full gamut of college academic life across the three years of student presence on campus. Recordings included a variety of hotel-specific and business lectures, practical working sessions, language classes and some miscellaneous events, thus creating a one-million word spoken corpus devoted to this sector. The primary research question concerns the identification and quantification of the discourse specific to this academic and professionally-oriented environment, using corpus linguistics methodologies. Parallel to and supported by this specialised linguistic repertoire lies the development of the emergent identity among the students themselves and their place and future careers within the international hotel management sector. This aspect will be analysed within Wenger’s (1998) framework of community of practice and Lave and Wenger’s (1991) initial theory of legitimate peripheral participation. In addition, an ethnographic lens will be employed to shed light on the day-to-day operations of this college and how the totality of this unique community, expressed through its discourse, but not only so, establishes and fosters an environment where the students develop their future professional identities supported by the academic professionals who are experienced industry practitioners in the field of international hotel management.
KeywordsCommunity of practice
Hotel management training