Coming to Terms with 21st Century L2 Writing and Digital Literacy
Ana Oskoz [+]
University of Maryland Baltimore County
Idoia Elola [+]
Texas Tech University
In this chapter, accounting for current digital tools (but also anticipating new and unknown ones), we examine L2 writers’ awareness of how meaning is shaped based on its reframing and recontextualization, how social convention discourses are adapted for individual and collective purposes, how languages change as material contexts modify with time (e.g., diverse technologies), how linguistic and non-linguistic elements interact in written and oral contexts, and how to create social identities in the process of making texts (Kern, 2015). We propose to focus on the interface of relevant theoretical and pedagogical perspectives that—in conjunction with emerging social digital tools—continue to create new meanings within new notions of text. Furthermore, empowering L2 instructors and writers by helping them explore, discuss, and implement uses of digital literacies will encourage them to use digital tools to create new meanings and, hopefully, transform the way they see L2 literacies. Although literacy is mediated through technologies, these need to be adapted and adjusted to fit L2 educators’ and writers’ needs. The challenge is to decide how we use literacy technologies, how technologies affect our reasoning, and how to reject the notion of technologies as “default” modes (Kern, 2015, p. 219). Therefore, the chapter calls for fresh conceptualizations of what new learners (and consequently new teachers) will look like through the evolution of digital literacies and technologies. This chapter concludes with questions for reflection and a call for future research and pedagogical innovation.