Conceptualising linguistic access to knowledge as interdisciplinary collaboration

16 May 2015

Communication lecturers often find themselves in the position of having to do considerably more than teach communication practice in professional programmes, for example, they are commonly expected to provide a 'service' function to lecturers in other disciplines. When communication lecturers are 'embedded' in science, engineering and technology-based departments, the 'service' provision role of communication lecturers can be exaggerated because of their marginal position in such departments. In this paper we argue that the lens of interdisciplinarity is a useful one for reconceptualising the role of communication lecturers in professional programmes in science, engineering and technology-based departments. We draw on a number of case studies to show how reconceptualising the work of communication lecturers can enhance collaboration between communication and content lectures in science, engineering and technology and, ultimately, contribute more meaningfully to the language development of students enrolled in professional programmes.