Language Communities


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Language communities on the web: creating authentic writing opportunities in post-secondary
2010 ETUG Spring Workshop - presentation by Catherine Caws, University of Victoria

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Language Communities

  1. 1. Language Communities: creating authentic writing opportunities Catherine Caws Department of French University of Victoria ETUG Spring Workshop 2010
  2. 2. Sapir (1949) insisted on the strong relationship between culture and languages and argued that linguists must "become increasingly concerned with the many anthropological, sociological, and psychological problems which invade the field of language" (p. 77).
  3. 3. Writing in 2010? Education is entering a particularly critical stage that is marked by an urgent need to examine the role that digitally mediated, collaborative tools play, not only as learning tools, but as authentic means of communication and relationship building” (Sykes et al, 2008, p. 528)
  4. 4. Redefining writing in a L2 as a true communicative genre seeing reading and writing literacy as “characteristic of a social group’s practices rather than the cognitive competence of a single individual” (Locke 2004, p.13) communication is viewed both as a form of knowledge transmission and information negotiation, and a discursive practice within a community in which individuals feel engaged in order to achieve trust as much as truth (Kramsch & Thorne, 2002).
  5. 5. Engaging learners/writers inout output interaction fan fiction: constructivism socio-cultural a space for thought experimentation and literacy practice collaborative enterprise in writing with fast review, feed-back and constructive criticism genre, rating, editing, multi-lingual
  6. 6. Calling on several theories of learning ✓ form-focused instruction (FFI) ✓ constructivism ✓ socio-cultural theory (Vygotsky’s ZDP) ✓ activity theory (Engeström, Lantolf & Thorne, Blin) is the activity and significance that shape the individuals’ orientation to learn or not ...(Lantolf & Pavlenko, 2001, p.148) attention to form will work most effectively for acqui- sition if it occurs in the context of meaning-focused communication (Long, 1988, 1991; Ellis, 2001)
  7. 7. looking at writing (i.e. a text) as a product and a process (Halliday & Hasan, 1985) is there a transfer of hybrid language from one language to the other (see Thorne 2008 melding of textual and conversational style) qualitative based research to study interventions and learners’ response to them
  8. 8. Sample of tools creating authentic writing spaces to allow individuals to express themselves in words and also through other communicative genre allowing individuals to become part of a writing communities, comment each other texts, edit each pother, and thus exploit ands explore the content as much as the form Wikis <> Blogs <> Discussions forums in Moodle <> Delicious, Twitter, ...
  9. 9. linguistic engagement linguistic ! analysis! use of meta-! language! meta-cognitive ! skills!
  10. 10. Thank you Catherine Caws