Fandom and Online Interest Groups
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Within the scope of technology for language education, fandom and online interest communities encompass a range of affinity groups in which individuals can develop skills and knowledge potentially supporting language learning or language mastery relevant to use in online and offline contexts. Initial work on online interest groups investigated individual and collaborative literacy practices and identity development among users of pre-Web 2.0 technologies such as Usenet discussions and personal fan websites. More recent research on online interest groups, language learning and use looks to the creative work and gameplay of international and multilingual users whose communities have flourished as a result of Web 2.0 technologies, including fanfiction archives, gaming forums, and wikis, and more general social media platforms. Altogether, studies of fandom and online interest groups within the area of language, education, and technology have revealed ways in which language learners and language users make use of these online communities for language learning, identity work, and the development of other skills and knowledge and which hold implications for the integration of technology and digital practices in language teaching.
KeywordsFandom Fanfiction Identity Collaborative writing Web 2.0 Twitter Multiplayer gaming
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