Interactional and discursive features of English-language weblogs for language learning and teaching
This chapter provides an overview of the nature of authentic (i.e., non-educational) weblogs (blogs) and offers a number a recommendations for using blogs in the English as a second/foreign language (ESL/EFL) curriculum to promote second language literacy. Our discussion centers around blog-writing as social practice as opposed to using blogs to help learners develop formal writing skills. Following a brief overview of a small corpus of diverse blogs, we provide a number of recommendations for integrating blog-reading and blog-writing in the ESL/EFL classroom. We extend Herring’s (2007) multifaceted approach to analyzing computer-mediated discourse to the field of second language (L2) learning and teaching, and we discuss ways in which students and teachers can construct, manage, and analyze a corpus of blogs. We also present a number of ways to design learning opportunities in the ESL/EFL classroom around the reading and writing of blogs.