Online Communication in a Second Language: Social Interaction, Language Use, and Learning Japanese

Author: Sarah E. Pasfield-Neofitou

Related Formats:
Hardback, Ebook(PDF), Ebook(EPUB)
Multilingual Matters
Number of pages:
210mm x 148mm

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Online Communication in a Second Language examines the use of social computer mediated communication (CMC) with speakers of Japanese via longitudinal case studies of up to four years. Through the analysis of over 2000 blogs, emails, videos, messages, games, and websites, in addition to interviews with learners and their online contacts, the book explores language use and acquisition via contextual resources, repair, and peer feedback. The book provides insight into relationships online, and the influence of perceived 'ownership' of online spaces by specific cultural or linguistic groups. It not only increases our understanding of online interaction in a second language, but CMC in general. Based on empirical evidence, the study challenges traditional categorisations of CMC mediums, and provides important insights relating to turn-taking, code-switching, and language management online.

The book is a highly interesting and comprehensive monograph on the topic of social interaction in CMC settings, based on the particular example of learning Japanese by Australian students. The author makes a number of very important claims about participating in online domains and virtual communities, entering CMC networks and maintaining relationships, code-switching and turn-taking, as well as acquisition opportunities in CMC.

Pasfield-Neofitou's book Online Communication in a Second Language is an impressive and timely contribution to the field. The widespread use of new technology in language learning is revolutionizing notions such as 'language use', 'interaction', 'competence', 'identity' and 'native speaker'. This calls for serious scholarly inquiries into the nature of the interplay between the new technology and language learning/language use. The book engages with these concepts and is a significant achievement in that direction. I highly recommend this book to scholars and students interested in second language learning in general, and those interested in the use of online communication in second language learning/use in particular.

Farzad Sharifian, Monash University, Australia

This book takes the study of language learners' use of technology into new directions by investigating the use of technology as autonomous, active participants in online communication. Its careful analysis opens up new possibilities for understanding and using technologies in language education and reveals what out-of-class communication affords contemporary language learners.

Anthony J. Liddicoat, University of South Australia, Australia

This important contribution furthers our understanding of how social interaction can play a role in the learning of Japanese. The in-depth and authoritative discussion of the various complexities of this emerging field is likely to provide a solid foundation for not only researchers of the range of social communication tools that are being used by second language learners, but also for language teachers looking to enrich learning environments through interaction with a natural audience.

Glenn Stockwell, Waseda University, Japan

Sarah E. Pasfield-Neofitou is a lecturer in the School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics, Monash University, where she teaches Japanese, applied linguistics and sociolinguistics, and is the eEducation Coordinator. Her research interests include online communication, sociolinguistics, and elearning. Sarah has worked on projects involving language attitudes online, virtual worlds, online dictionaries, social networking, and the use of technology in teaching. Her previous publications include articles in Babel, CALL-EJ Online and Language Learning & Technology, among others, and she has authored several book chapters.

1. Introduction 
2. Learner Backgrounds and Online L2 Networks 
3. Social Settings of Situated CMC Use 
4. Features of CMC Use 
5. Use of Contextual Resources and SLA Opportunities 
6. Conclusion 

Postgraduate, Research / Professional
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