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ERIC Number: ED352015
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992
Reference Count: N/A
Talking Shop via E-Mail: A Thematic and Linguistic Analysis of Electronic Mail Communication. Research Report 99.
The linguistic purposes of this research were to focus on content, themes and topics, and to analyze the way the target language (English) was used in e-mail. Communicativeness and the roles of the communicator (writer-reader) became central, emphasizing the multidirectional character of e-mail communication. The basic tenet of communicativeness and a naturalistic communicative learning environment in classrooms was connected to the question of the degree of initiative and free negotiable topic choice. The research problems included issues concerning content (themes and topics) and language used in e-mail communication. Research methodology was an ethnographic approach complemented by a thematic and linguistic analysis on content and language. The Finnish participants consisted of six classes in three senior secondary schools with four teachers of English. The foreign participants consisted of schools in Britain and the United States with further contacts in Austria, Canada, Germany, Iceland, Japan, and Sweden. Data were gathered during fieldwork (November 1989-May 1990). Results of the study indicated that process-led collaborative e-mail communication encouraged writing and exchanging ideas across the world; a collaborative effort made writing more public, bringing social and negotiation skills into focus; modes of writing became more versatile; e-mail formed a new repository of teaching and learning materials; e-mail written on-line resembled oral communication while off-line writing showed more textual and linguistic coherence and organization; phatic use of language was essential to the functionality of the communication channel; and artistic, emotive, and poetic language was widely used as well as referential or informative use of the target language. Twenty-one of the 98 references are in English. An abstract in Finnish is also provided. (Author/ALF)
Descriptors: Communication (Thought Transfer), Computer Assisted Instruction, Computer Networks, Developed Nations, Electronic Mail, English (Second Language), Ethnography, Foreign Countries, Global Approach, Language Research, Language Usage, Second Language Instruction, Second Language Learning, Secondary Education, Telecommunications, Teleconferencing, Writing Difficulties, Writing Research
University of Helsinki, Department of Teacher Education, Ratakatu 6A, 00120 Helsinki, Finland (Price: FIM 80).
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Helsinki Univ. (Finland). Dept. of Education.
Identifiers: Computer Mediated Communication; Finland; Great Britain; United States