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.
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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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