Reimagining Communicative Context: ELF Interaction in Second Life to Learn EFL

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Abstract

Drawing upon a semiotic approach to English as a lingua franca (ELF), this study investigates English as a foreign language (EFL) students' interactions with international speakers of English in the real-time, multiplayer virtual world Second Life. The author integrated pedagogical strategies of classroom interactions, online conversations, and student reflections in an EFL course to facilitate students' understanding and use of ELF. Qualitative analyses of written conversations and reflective observations by some of the students showed distinctive features of ELF communication with regard to interactional resources and discourse strategies in international encounters. Student responses to post-task survey questions further reflected the benefits and challenges of connecting multiple proficiencies and identities in developing ELF across spaces and events. This article concludes with discussions on issues and recommendations for re-envisioning communicative contexts that are relevant to playful interaction as ELF practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-34
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Language, Identity and Education
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2012

Keywords

  • communicative context
  • conversational interaction
  • English as a foreign language (EFL)
  • English as a lingua franca (ELF)
  • Second Life
  • semiotic ecology

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