This presentations reports on a case study of the informal L2 language and digital literacy development of an adult fan.
The focal participant for this case study, Steevee, is a female fan in her early 30s originally from a small city in eastern Germany who first entered online media fandom six years prior with the goal of developing her English in order to live and work in London. Data analyzed include semi-structured interviews, email correspondence, and analysis of Steevee’s fan-based social media accounts on Tumblr and Twitter.
Findings reveal how Steevee’s heavy involvement in the fan practice of spoiling, defined as the discovery and sharing of plot elements (Duffet, 2013), during filming of the television series Sherlock facilitated Steevee’s English and digital literacy development for the purpose of living an working in an English-speaking context. This study, therefore, documents the process through which an adult L2 English user makes use of popular culture, technology, and online media fandom to engage in informal language learning.