Digital Literacies

Authored by: Rodney H. Jones

Handbook of Research in Second Language Teaching and Learning

Print publication date:  December  2016
Online publication date:  November  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138859814
eBook ISBN: 9781315716893
Adobe ISBN: 9781317508366


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Few would argue with the assertion that digital technology is a ‘game changer’ as far as language learning is concerned. This is not just because computers and the Internet have introduced all kinds of new opportunities for language teachers to engage their students in creative learning activities, but also because, now more than ever, language learners have opportunities to use whatever language they are learning in authentic ways outside of the classroom. The most important way digital technology has changed language learning, however, and the main reason why researchers of language acquisition cannot ignore it, is that it has dramatically changed the way people use language in their daily lives, introducing all sorts of new ‘literacy practices’ which did not exist before (Lank-shear & Knobel, 2006). These literacy practices involve new forms of social interaction, new kinds of texts, and new understandings of authorship and agency (Gee & Hayes, 2011; Thorne et al. 2009; Warschauer & Grimes, 2007). The study of ‘digital literacies’ is the study of the everyday, vernacular literacy practices people engage in using digital technology and the ways these practices affect language learning and language use (Jones & Hafner, 2012; Lankshear & Knobel, 2008).

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