Language, Literacies and Digital Communication

The aim of the course is to examine contemporary language use online. We start from a social practice view of languages and literacies: that is we look at what people do online, what activities they engage in and what these mean to them. This means that in this module we look at language use online drawing on research sociology and cultural studies, not just linguistics. The course explores a range of platforms such as Wikipedia, Blogs, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook. We talk about languages and literacies in the plural, because we start from the idea that there are many different ways of reading, writing and communicating via online technologies. This also means that we will investigate how digital communication is changing the way we, as researchers, study language. On the course, you will explore your own and other people’s digital language practices and you will be introduced to methods of researching language and literacy online. We will use a wide range of materials and readings, including videos, blogs and other online resources.