Innovation in Language Learning

Edition 17

Accepted Abstracts

An Ethnographic Case Study: "It's a different world!" An English Language Learner's Multimodal Engagement Experience with An L2 Community on Zoom

Ala S. Al-Ghoraibi, University of Massachusetts-Amherst (United States)


Several research in the literature on second language acquisition SLA have discussed English language communication issues from phycological, linguistic, and contextual viewpoints in situations where verbal and written modes are the dominant mode of communication. This study rejects the unitary views of communication and considers the reality of all human communication as multimodal. It also emphasizes the relevance of situational and social contexts, as well as the dynamic nature of communicative experiences, from a sociocultural viewpoint. In addition, using socio-semiotic multimodal and discourse analysis tools to microanalyse the communication and learning engagement of an English as an additional language (EAL) learner on a video conferencing communication platform (Zoom) when taking into account the reality of both online and offline spaces during synchronous online meeting sessions, I argue that the EAL participant's choices are influenced by the reality of both online and offline spaces during the synchronous online meeting sessions which also shape the complexity of his L2 identity.

Keywords: English language communication, English as an additional language (EAL), multimodal communication, EAL learner, L2 identity 

References (partial list): 

  • Emerson, R. M., Fretz, R. I., & Shaw, L. L. (1995). Writing ethnographic fieldnotes. University of Chicago Press.
  • Gee, J. P. (2011). How to do discourse analysis: A toolkit: A toolkit. Routledge.
  • Glaser, B.G. , & Strauss, A.L. (1967). The discovery of grounded theory. Chicago: Aldine.
  • Gumperz, J. J. (1982). Discourse Strategies. Cambridge University Press.
  • Jewitt, C. (2008). Multimodality and Literacy in School Classrooms. Review of Research in Education, 32(1), 241–267. doi:10.3102/0091732x07310586


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