Expanding Discourse Options Through Computer-Mediated Communication: Guiding Learners Toward Autonomy

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Abstract

This article proposes a multiliteracies-based pedagogical framework for the analysis of computer-mediated discourse (CMD) in order to give students increased access to expanded discourse options that are available in online communication environments and communities (i.e., beyond the classroom). Through the analysis of excerpts and a corpus of French and Spanish electronic discourse, we illustrate how this framework can promote autonomous, lifelong participation and learning emphasized by the Communities component of the National Standards. Such an analysis allows students and instructors to explore similarities and divergences within and among different types of CMD and, by extension, more traditional types of discourse that are all shaped by technical and social affordances and constraints.

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