Home

Volume 21 Number 2
Abstract

Designing talk in social networks: What Facebook teaches about conversation
Chantelle Warner
Hsin-I Chen

The easy accessibility, ubiquity, and plurilingualism of popular SNSs such as Facebook have inspired many scholars and practitioners of second language teaching and learning to integrate networked forms of communication into educational contexts such as language classrooms and study abroad programs (e.g., Blattner & Fiori, 2011; Lamy & Zourou, 2013; Mills, 2011; Reinhardt & Ryu, 2013; Reinhardt & Zander, 2011). At the same time, the complex and dynamic patterns of interaction that emerge in these spaces quickly push back upon standard ways of describing conversational genres and communicative competence (Kern, 2014; Lotherington & Ronda, 2014). Drawing from an ecological interactional analysis (Goffman, 1964, 1981a, 1981b, 1986; Kramsch & Whiteside, 2008) of the Facebook communications of three German-speaking academics whose social and professional lives are largely led in English, the authors consider the kinds of symbolic maneuvers required to participate in the translingual conversational flows of SNS-mediated communication. Based on this analysis, this article argues that texts generated through SNS-mediated communication can provide classroom opportunities for critical, stylistically sensitive reflection on the nature of talk in line with multiliteracies approaches.

Article PDF