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‘To Blog, Not to Block’: Examining EFL Learners’ Language Development and Intercultural Competence in the Blogosphere Through the Sociocultural Lens

  • Julian Chen
Chapter
Part of the Multilingual Education book series (MULT, volume 30)

Abstract

The popularity of using blogs as online dialogue journals to share day-to-day activities with virtual audiences has grown substantially in the twenty-first century. As learners in English as a foreign language (EFL) contexts are growing in number, research on the extent to which blogging can bolster EFL learners’ L2 development and intercultural competence is needed in order to contribute to the field of second-language acquisition (SLA). Specifically, studies situated within EFL contexts and framed by sociocultural theory (SCT) can provide dynamic and nuanced insights into how blogs as a digital platform can mediate and scaffold learners’ knowledge construction, acquisition of language skills and cross-cultural awareness shaped by a wider blogging community. The purpose of this chapter, hence, is to examine EFL learners’ language practices in the blogosphere as a social milieu. It is intended to enrich the discussion on the interplay between EFL learners’ cultural and linguistic repertories and their co-construction of new knowledge with authentic audiences. Empirical studies are critically reviewed through the SCT lens as an SLA framework to further explain how blogging can break the in- and outside-class boundaries and empower EFL learners. Research and pedagogical implications are also synthesized and highlighted by a selection of commonly used blog platforms for language teaching and research.

Keywords

Blogging Sociocultural theory English as a foreign language Learner autonomy Authentic audience Knowledge co-construction Intercultural competence Virtual community building 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of EducationCurtin UniversityPerthAustralia

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