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ERIC Number: EJ946178
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Feb
Pages: 25
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1094-3501
Learner Interpretations of Shared Space in Multilateral English Blogging
Yang, Yu-Feng
Language Learning & Technology, v15 n1 p122-146 Feb 2011
This qualitative study aims to understand how English learners interpret shared space in an online multilateral English blogging context and how their interpretations of shared space contribute to their multilateral exchange experience. Twenty-four Asian learners of English from two different universities--one in Japan and one in Taiwan--participated in this study. These learners worked on their individual blogs and interacted on both their own blogs and on those of their partners. Data sources include surveys, online interaction records, class assignments, reflective journals, and interviews. Guided by Kramsch's (2009c) analogy of the mindsets of the structuralist and post-structuralist approaches in culture and communication, this study reported that students in this multilateral English blogging project interpreted shared space from two perspectives (a) commonality, and (b) relativity. While students who interpreted shared space from the perspective of commonality valued pre-existing shared personal interests, mutual understanding, and similar personal experiences as a prerequisite for inter-class blogging, students who interpreted shared space from the perspective of relativity tended to draw relative positions from a dialogue between their and their inter-class peers' historicity or cultural memories through re-contextualization and re-positioning. This study suggests that although students who interpreted shared space from the commonality perspective were able to engage in inter-class blogging, they faced difficulties in exploring other possibilities in relating to the blog content, the blog discussions, and the bloggers, when commonality was absent. However, for students who interpreted shared space from the relativity perspective, they were able to form relationships of possibility in mediating encounters through uses of heterogeneous semiotic resources. Future research on what barriers can hinder students' development due to interpretation of shared space and how students develop uses of symbolic resources can contribute to understanding students' construction of shared space for communication. (Contains 3 tables and 3 notes.)
University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center. 1859 East-West Road #106, Honolulu, HI 96822. Tel: 808-956-9424; Fax: 808-956-5983; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Japan; Taiwan