"Bridging Activities," New Media Literacies, and Advanced Foreign Language Proficiency
Issue: Vol 25 No. 3 (2008)
Journal: CALICO Journal
In this article we propose the pedagogical model bridging activities to address advanced foreign language proficiency in the context of existing and emerging internet communication and information tools and communities. The article begins by establishing the need for language and genre-focused activities at the advanced level that attend to the shifting social practices and emerging literacies associated with digital media. Grounded in principles of language awareness and the concept of multiliteracies, the bridging activities model centers on guided exploration and analysis of student selected or created digital vernacular texts originating in Web 2.0 and other technologies/practices such as instant messaging and synchronous chat, blogs and wikis, remixing, and multiplayer online gaming. Application of the model includes an iterative implementation cycle of observation and collection, guided exploration and analysis, and creation and participation. In sum, the bridging activities approach is designed to enhance engagement and relevance through the incorporation of students' digital-vernacular expertise, experience, and curiosity, coupled with instructor guidance at the level of semiotic form to explore interactional features, discourse-level grammar, and genre. The ultimate goal is to foster critical awareness of the anatomy and functional organization of a wide range of communicative practices relating to both digital and analogue textual conventions.
Author: Steven L. Thorne, Jonathon Reinhardt