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Virtual learning sites as transnational borderlands: Dialogical approaches to participants ‘multilingual-modal’ languaging
Dalarna University, School of Education, Health and Social Studies, Education.
Örebro Universitet.
2012 (English)Conference paper, Presentation (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Use of digital tools like computers and smart phones in institutional settings provide flexibility in that the boundaries of time and space disintegrate. Such learning sites are conceptualized as being crucial in today’s globalized existence whereby anyone anywhere could potentially become a student and have access to institutional higher educational opportunities. 

 

The study presented here is based on the analysis of recorded sessions (both student-only and teacher-led) of an “Italian for beginners” language online course provided by a college in the geopolitical space of Sweden. Our interests relate to accounting for how students negotiate the ‘multilingual-modal’ online synchronous learning site where the environment itself constitutes a boundary object, an artifact “that articulate(s) meaning and address(es) different perspectives” (Akkerman & Bakker, 2011: 10). We contend that students, in this virtual language-focused classroom orient their communication in specific ways.

 

In such sites learning is understood as mutually related to processes of identification and acculturation (Ligorio, 2010) and in such a global-local or “glocal” (Robertson 1992; Hampton Keith, 2010) community of practice, language learning also means understanding and re-constructing interactional modes and norms shared by its virtual members. In addition, we consider the interaction occurring in online  ‘multilingual-modal’ environments not in terms of the performance of second language acquisition but rather as the result of language use, or languaging. This center-stages what the participants do with the language and modality resources they have at hand and how the interaction is enhanced or constrained by the environment. Digital language use in such sites allows for mobility through time and space where new geocultural processes affect the emergence of new multimodal forms of communication (Blommaert, 2010).The meaning making potentials in these types of borderlands also challenge issues related to multiliteracies (Hornberger, 2003) and identification (Bagga-Gupta 2011, forthcoming).

The sociocultural-dialogical and postcolonial analyses here are framed in terms of the inherent fluidity of identity positions and languaging (Bagga-Gupta, forthcoming; Garcia, 2009; Linell 2009). Such fluidity emerges in and across the boundaries of time, space and, not least, specifically Technology Mediated Communication (TMC) thus creating a glocal nexus (Hermans & Hermans-Konopka, 2010) in virtual sites. Interactions here offer diverse “ways of being” and of “ways with words” in the world (Bagga-Gupta, in press). Our study traces both the range and the ways in which discursive-technologies provide affordances and obstacles to oral and written communication (Gee & Hayes, 2011). Preliminary findings suggest that online environments support meaning-making in a creative process of reification (Wenger, 1998) where it is possible to identify alternative ways of (co)constructing and nurturing learning. We argue that this hybridization of learning across contexts (Akkerman & Van Eijk, 2011) and modes, as well as the performative character of learning (Säljö, 2010) and identity display have important implications for analytically understanding what it means to become literate and a member of a community.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012.
Keyword [en]
Language learning, online synchronous environments, multimodality, multilingualism, identity, literacy, glocal communities
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Education and Learning
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-11115OAI: oai:DiVA.org:du-11115DiVA: diva2:562677
Conference
Eurocall 2012. Theme Using, Learning, Knowing. Gothenburg University, Sweden 22-25 August 2012.
Projects
CINLE - Studies of everyday Communication and Identity processes in Netbased Learning Environments
Note

The EUROCALL 2012 proceedings will be published in a special issue of the EUROCALL Review in spring 2013.

Available from: 2012-10-25 Created: 2012-10-25 Last updated: 2016-01-26Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • chicago-author-date
  • chicago-note-bibliography
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf