ERIC Number: EJ865420
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Dec
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 149
Second Language Use, Socialization, and Learning in Internet Interest Communities and Online Gaming
Thorne, Steven L.; Black, Rebecca W.; Sykes, Julie M.
Modern Language Journal, v93 ns1 p802-821 Dec 2009
In recent years, there has been a great deal of research and pedagogical experimentation relating to the uses of technology in second (L2) and foreign language education. The majority of this research has usefully described and examined the efficacy of in-class and directly classroom-related uses of technology. This article broadens the scope of inquiry to include L2 and foreign language-related uses of technology that extend into the interstitial spaces between instructed L2 contexts and entirely out-of-school noninstitutional realms of freely chosen digital engagement. Two demographically and sociologically significant phenomena are examined in detail; the first focuses on participation in Internet interest communities such as fan fiction and virtual diaspora community spaces and the second describes a continuum of three-dimensional graphically rendered virtual environments and online games. A review of research in each of these areas reveals extended periods of language socialization into sophisticated communicative practices and demonstrates the salience of creative expression and language use as tools for identity development and management. In the final section of the article, we suggest a number of possibilities for synergistically uniting the analytic rigor of instructed L2 education with the immediacy and vibrancy of language use in digital vernacular contexts.
Descriptors: Socialization, Creative Activities, Second Language Learning, Virtual Classrooms, Internet, Computer Assisted Instruction, Educational Technology, Second Language Instruction, Literary Genres, Games, Language Usage
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
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