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Learning as access and learning as participation: (im)mobilities and transnational identity positions in cyber communities
Dalarna University. (CCD & Research School TKP)
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences, Örebro University, Sweden. (CCD)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1846-858X
2014 (English)In: Swedish-Indian International Research Conference LanDpost, Languaging and Diversity in the age of post-colonial glocal-medialization.: Central Institute of Indian Languages. 15-17 October 2014. Mysore, India, Mysore, India: CIIL , 2014Conference paper, (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Theoretical and methodological framework

Sociocultural and postcolonial perspectives on culture, language and identity allow us to empirically investigate how students in cyber communities negotiate and co-construct SpaceTime as a single dimension during the institutionally framed agenda of an online language course focused in this study. Here ‘correct’ languaging or language-use is both a means and a goal in itself. Students gather from all over the world to access the virtual classroom in order to participate and learn the target language. In the online space of the virtual classroom, there is no common locality beyond the pieces of local spaces that individuals can enter. This entering shapes the encounters inside the shared space of the virtual classroom. Such disrupted space is what frames (in terms of constraints and affordances) participation and learning in cyber communities. We argue that in order to understand and empirically study such encounters (or sites of engagement) it is fruitful to use the epistemological lenses of TimeSpace as well as the postcolonial concepts of Third Space and Hybridity. This, we argue, allows us an analytical shift in focus, from what happens inside a space or a community, to what occurs at the boundaries, in-between (virtual) spaces. This is done through a multi-scale analysis of mundane interaction at the micro and meso scales. An augmented conversation analysis (CA) of the interaction at the micro scale allows us to attend to the transmodal and translingual nature of the online encounters. The analysis at the meso scale permits a mapping of the interpenetration of students’ geopolitical spaces in the online site to understand the ways in which students’ (im)mobilities are afforded and constrained by/in cyber educational spaces.

 

 

Research questions

Our interests here relate to accounting for how students make sense of the transnational, -lingual, -modal nature of the virtual classroom of which they are members. Going beyond essentialistic theories of language learning, communication and identity, we consider the virtual classroom in terms of a Third Space, a site of transition “between the subject of a proposition […] and the subject of enunciation” (Bhabha, 1994: 53), which entails both an aperture but also a closure to what it means to communicate digitally, through an internet connection across geopolitical borders. This fluidity of positions and languaging (Garcia, 2009), occurring in and across the boundaries of the students’ multiple offline and online communities offers alternative ways of considering how human beings categorize the world in terms of identity, language and culture (Bagga-Gupta, Hasnain & Mohan, 2013) as they endeavor to belong to (and analyze) a group, a community, a tradition.

 

Empirical material explored

The empirical data focused here is drawn from a large project at the Communication, Culture and Diversity, CCD research group in Sweden (www.oru.se/humus/ccd/) which includes 80 hours of naturally occurring interactional materials, generated through screen recordings of online sessions of an Italian for Beginners course offered by a Swedish university (www.oru.se/english/research/CINLE, Dahlberg & Bagga-Gupta, 2013).

 

Preliminary findings

Our preliminary findings suggest that interactional spaces of virtual courses are co-created by members in the situated-distributed practices across space and time. The epistemologies of ‘SpaceTime’ in such open-spaces are contingent upon members’ (im)mobility in that they are participants in different constellations distributed in online-offline spaces simultaneously. This means that students’ physical locations and embodied dimensions are a part of the online space of the virtual classroom in that they shape and mould the participation trajectories and therefore their access ‘inside’ the virtual site. We illustrate how this multifaceted and multidimensional aspect of virtual encounters is crucial in (institutionally framed) Technology Mediated Communication (TMC) and how it empirically challenges the monolithic, monolingual essentialistic tradition of one language, one nation, one culture.

 

How the study is related to LanDpost

The theoretical/methodological underpinnings of the study as well as its preliminary findings are related to the aims and scope of LanDpost through its interests in conceptualizing human beings’ languaging though an empirically informed discussion. The study also aims to show how multisite research in today’s digitalized society (at least in the Global North) relate to the tensions and contradictions which question the assumption of i) what is real vis à vis virtual? ii) what is technologically mediated? and, consequently iii) the often used dichotomy face-to-face/online communication. Such issues are central to the agenda of LanDpost. Our study revisits the complexities of languaging and diversity, especially in light of an essentialistic ontology of here/there, real/virtual, I/the Other which continues to heavily permeate the discourse about online education and telecollaboration in present times.

 

References

Bagga-Gupta, S., Hasnain, I. S., Mohan, S. (2013) Introduction: (Re)searching Language, Culture and Identity. In I. Hasnain, S. Bagga-Gupta & S. Mohan (Eds). Alternative Voices. (Re)searching Language, Culture & Identity… England: England: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Bagga-Gupta, S. (2013) The Boundary-Turn. Relocating language, identity and culture through the epistemological lenses of time, space and social interactions. In I. Hasnain, S. Bagga-Gupta & S. Mohan (Eds). Alternative Voices. (Re)searching Language, Culture & Identity… England: England: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Bhabha, H.K. (1994) The Location of Culture. New York: Routledge

Garcia, O. 2009. Bilingual education in the 21st Century. Malden MA: Wiley-Blackwell

Messina Dahlberg, G., Bagga-Gupta, S. (2013) Communication in the virtual classroom in higher education: Languaging beyond the boundaries of time and space, Learning, Culture and Social Interaction 2 (3). http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.lcsi.2013.04.003

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Mysore, India: CIIL , 2014.
Keyword [en]
(im)mobilities, Language Learning, SpaceTime, Third Space
National Category
Specific Languages Engineering and Technology Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Learning
Research subject
Gender Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-39636OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-39636DiVA: diva2:771379
Conference
Swedish-Indian International Research Conference LanDpost, Languaging and Diversity in the age of post-colonial glocal-medialization. Central Institute of Indian Languages. 15-17 October 2014. Mysore, India.
Projects
CINLE
Note

Projektets hemsida www.oru.se/ccd/cincle

Available from: 2014-12-12 Created: 2014-12-12 Last updated: 2015-01-22Bibliographically approved

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