Social Networking, Socialization, and Second Language Writers: The Development of New Identities and Literacies
Second Language Acquisition
Second Language Writing
Second Language Acquisition & Teaching
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
EmbargoRelease after 13-Jun-2014
AbstractThe availability of Web 2.0 tools and multiple modalities through digital media is promoting a growing renaissance in linguistic diversity and cultural affiliations, providing a cosmopolitan and plurilingual and multicultural landscape for multilingual users. Full participation in these digitally-mediated activities involves not only print-based literacy but also new literacies that are emerging within Internet-mediated social and communicative contexts. In an effort to better understand how these communication technologies can be used to enhance second language acquisition (SLA), this study explores the relationship between social networking and second language (L2) learning. Grounded within theoretical frameworks of an ecological approach to language (van Lier, 2004), second language socialization (Duff, 2008), and new literacies (Lankshear & Knobel, 2006), this dissertation examines use of social networking sites (SNS) by L2 learners/users of English as a group and as individuals over time in social networking communities through a mixed method approach, including quantitative (e.g., survey) and qualitative (e.g., case study) methods. The ultimate goal is not simply to describe the SNS use by L2 users, but to apply the findings to L2 writing pedagogy that can bridge students' in-school and out-of-school literacy practices and to examine the efficacy of that pedagogy. The three interrelated studies are comprised of 1) a survey-based study of SNS literacy practices and L2 learning, 2) a longitudinal case study of two L2 users' SNS-mediated community investment and identity formation, and 3) a study of the efficacy of an SNS-enhanced genre-awareness instructional unit in an ESL writing classroom. Findings show that L2 users, across culturally diverse groups, performed quantitatively and qualitatively differently in social media usage and displayed different culturally-informed patterns of technological affordances. The longitudinal case study on two users shows that the availability of Web 2.0-mediated semiotic resources allows users to perform complex identity work and explore multimodal selves over time. Implications are that L2 users can gain access to, develop new identities in, and acquire social capital in new communities. Results from the pedagogical intervention show that writing instructions using an SNS-enhanced genre-awareness approach can develop critical awareness of genres across both traditional and digital media.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Second Language Acquisition & Teaching
Degree GrantorUniversity of Arizona
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Acquisition versus long-term retention of Japanese words and syntax by children and adults: Implications for the critical period hypothesis in second language learning.Boswell, Paul Duane; Reyna, Valerie; Brainerd, Charles; Aleamoni, Lawrence M. (The University of Arizona., 1993)The critical period hypothesis for second language learning, which states that young children learn additional languages better than adults, lacks unambiguous empirical support as well as a coherent theoretical model. An experimental study was conducted which analyzed child-adult differences in difficulty of acquisition and long-term retention for rules of syntax and words in Japanese, a language unfamiliar to the subjects. The results of this study found no advantage for children over adults either in acquisition or long-term memory. However, relative to the difficulty of acquisition, the children had lower forgetting rates for words than for rules when both materials were learned completely. In the lexical study, the children's performance at retention was closer to the adults' than at acquisition, whereas in the syntax study, the opposite was the case. These results confirm the existence of developmental differences in the forgetting rates of different materials. Such results imply that, if there is an advantage for learning language at an early age, it might be localized in lexical retention.
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