Transforming L2 Writing: New Writing Tools, New Genres, New Ways of Writing
Ana Oskoz [+]
University of Maryland Baltimore County
Idoia Elola [+]
Texas Tech University
Historically, writing genres, such as argumentative and expository essays and narrations, have been viewed according to their linguistic and structural complexity or the purpose that the genre conveys (e.g., describe or present an argument). However, with the inclusion of various 21st century digital tools, there has been a proliferation of multimodal genres (such as blogging and tweeting) that, because of their social nature, require a deeper understanding of the target language’s sociolinguistic and cultural norms. This raises the question of how to address multimodality in the L2 context and how to equip L2 writers with the appropriate linguistic and cultural knowledge to enable their successful participation in these discourse practices. After analyzing research on blogging (Lee, 2010), tweeting (Blattner, Dalola, & Lomicka, 2016) and online fan fiction (Sauro, 2014, 2017), among other tools and genres, we provide a range of guidelines for instructors who wish to incorporate new tools and their corresponding genres into their courses. For instance, following a task-based approach, we address the implementation of digital storytelling in a curriculum, which requires the integration of different modes (written, oral, visual, and aural) and the manipulation of semiotic resources within each mode (size, color, and lines in the visual mode) to convey meaning when creating a multimodal text. This serves as an example of learners’ development of digital literacies and the development of newer genres in the L2 writing classroom. Like in previous chapters, we will conclude with questions for reflection.