Volume 20 Number 3

Mapping Languaging in Digital Spaces: Literacy Practices at Borderlands
Giulia Messina Dahlberg, University of Skövde
Sangeeta Bagga-Gupta, Jönköping University

The study presented in this article explores the ways in which discursive-technologies shape interaction in digitally-mediated educational settings in terms of affordances and constraints for the participants. Our multi-scale sociocultural-dialogical analysis of the interactional order in the online sessions of an Italian for Beginners language course provided by a university in Sweden is illustrated in terms of an Introduction phase, a Language and Grammar phase, a Discussion phase, and a Concluding phase. Dimensions of TimeSpace shape the organization of the lessons where a range of literacy practices can be identified. A second step in the analysis zooms into the Discussion phase. Taking the concepts of epistemic engine and epistemic domains as points of departure, we explain how the written word shapes the interactional order in online settings.

This study highlights how different interactional orders allow for the opening up of new socialization spaces, in which students are more likely to be prevented from getting trapped in their own script of task-oriented activities. Here, participants’ cultural processes are complexly layered in digitally-mediated encounters, where their focused orientation towards a variety of offline and online oral and written resources is partly curtailed by the digital environment itself.

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