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ERIC Number: EJ1088426
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1946-3014
Online Conversations: A Sociolinguistic Investigation into Young Adults' Use of Videochats
Sindoni, Maria Grazia
Classroom Discourse, v2 n2 p219-235 2011
"Conversation," the social and socialising activity "par excellence," has undergone a profound semiotic and phenomenological transformation in the contemporary age. Broadly speaking, conversation used to be associated with speech and a shared context of situation in many linguistic approaches (e.g., conversation analysis), but computer-mediated conversation (e.g., videochat) challenges well-established notions of what a conversation actually is. How is conversation modified by the use of digital technologies? To what extent is a computer-mediated conversation different from a face-to-face conversation? What degree of awareness do young adults possess as regards the communicative affordances that computer-mediated conversations allow? Can videochats be successfully used in and outside class and how? This paper sets out to highlight the fundamental role of conversation as a social and socialising activity and to illustrate from a theoretical standpoint some of its contemporary technologically constrained modifications, such as those present in computer-mediated conversations. Our aim is also to present data collected through a sociolinguistic research carried out between 2009 and 2010. Questionnaires, structured and semi-structured interviews were administered to a sample of 100 English-speaking high school and university students. The project was focused on how young adults (15-20 years old) engage with video conversations, with specific reference to the combined use of speech and writing in videochats. Significant alterations in conversational patterns in videochats are outlined and discussed, taking into account specific features. We also contend that such findings encourage applications in the field of foreign language learning and teaching.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A