Intertextuality, Identity Works, and Second Language Literacy Development in the Digital Media: An Ethnographic Case Study of Two Indonesian College Students' Literacy Practice on Twitter
Marissa, Dian N.
Lavine, Roberta Z.
Research shows us that those immersed in digital media are engaged in an unprecedented exploration of language, social interaction, and self-directed activity that leads to diverse forms of learning (Buckingham & Willet, 2006). In the field of Second Language Acquisition (SLA) in particular, numerous studies have been devoted to investigate the diverse ways in which English language learners (ELLs) engage with English texts in the digital media and their relationships with English language learning (Hornberger, 2007). However, these studies have often focused on ELLs who live in English-speaking countries and are more exposed to the target language in their daily lives -internet-mediated or otherwise (Lam, 2000; Lam, 2009; McGinnis, Goodstein-Stolezenberg, and Saliani, 2007). There is not enough empirical research that have investigated the literacy practices of those ELLs who live the majority of their lives using another language, and yet are increasingly exposed and connected to English mainly through the Internet. Furthermore, among the research on ELL's literacy practices in the digital media, little attention has been paid to how these practices lead to the linguistic development of the users who are involved in the processes (Ivanic, 1998). This study aims to contribute to the knowledge base of SLA by exploring the different ways in which two Indonesian college students engage in producing and interpreting English texts in the digital media, and how these literacy practices lead to the development of their English literacy. Qualitative analyses conducted in this study focused on English texts that the students produced and interpreted in a social network site (SNS) called Twitter. Specifically, this study examined a particular practice that is gaining popularity among young people today - the practice of intertextuality (Fairclough, 1992; Ivanic, 1998). This study explored how this intertextual practice relates to English language learners' identity construction and negotiation, and to the development of their English literacy. This study has implications for educators who seek new ways to bridge students' out-of- school literacy practices and school-based literacy, as well as connecting the literacy practices in digital and non-digital contexts.