The relatively recent emergence of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL) represents a confluence of trends: the spread of constructivist-based approaches to teaching and learning, the increasingly felt need to provide students with more engaging learning environments, and the development of new digital tools that facilitate the sharing and creation of knowledge and expertise through both teacher/student and peer interaction (Resta/Laferrière 2007: 65). Thanks to its affordances which allow for potentially ubiquitous and synchronous communication, microblogging can be turned into a very efficient CSCL medium. Drawing on recent studies on microblogging interaction (see, among others, Zappavigna 2012; Puschmann 2013), this paper focuses on the textual and rhetorical features of the microblogging platform Twitter as an English for Academic Purposes (EAP) teaching/learning tool. Specifically, it explores affiliation and interaction between expert members of the academic community and novices like PhD students, as well as among the latter. The main features of the discourse of scientific instruction on Twitter are explored from a qualitative as well as a quantitative perspective: the combination of the close reading of the tweets and a corpus-based approach arguably represents the best tool to both investigate the online academic identities of PhD students and advisors and identify what is “central and typical” (Stubbs 1996: 233) of their exchanges. A corpus consisting of tweets hashtagged #acwri (Academic Writing) has been collected and analyzed in order to study the discursive construction of the identity of the academic microbloggers collaborating on Twitter and the rhetoric and language strategies they adopt to enhance both “ambient affiliation” (Zappavigna 2011) and “ambient intimacy” (Reichelt 2007). The last two expressions refer to “a new form of sociality [made possible by the social media environment and] in which language maintains a pivotal role” (Zappavigna 2011: 789). Preliminary results show that expert academicians portray themselves as facilitators rather than transmitters of knowledge (in line with the constructivist paradigm) as indicated by the frequent use of the terms such as “whisper” or “chat” to refer to the online exchanges they participate in. At the other end of the communication process, PhD students, who often suffer from the isolation, stress and uncertainty that are typical of academic research and writing (Percy 2014), appear to express their gratitude for finding valuable resources and being able to interact in a virtual environment which, differently from the physical one, allows them to be productive as well as to de-stress.

Academic Writing on Twitter: How Microblogging Becomes an Empowering Tool for Researchers / G. Riboni - In: Language for Specific Purposes: Research and Translation across Cultures and Media / [a cura di] G.E. Garzone, D. Heaney, G. Riboni. - Prima edizione. - [s.l] : Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2016 Nov 01. - ISBN 9781443899321. - pp. 374-394 (( convegno LSP research, teaching and translation across languages and cultures tenutosi a Milano nel 2014.

Academic Writing on Twitter: How Microblogging Becomes an Empowering Tool for Researchers

G. Riboni
Primo
2016

Abstract

The relatively recent emergence of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL) represents a confluence of trends: the spread of constructivist-based approaches to teaching and learning, the increasingly felt need to provide students with more engaging learning environments, and the development of new digital tools that facilitate the sharing and creation of knowledge and expertise through both teacher/student and peer interaction (Resta/Laferrière 2007: 65). Thanks to its affordances which allow for potentially ubiquitous and synchronous communication, microblogging can be turned into a very efficient CSCL medium. Drawing on recent studies on microblogging interaction (see, among others, Zappavigna 2012; Puschmann 2013), this paper focuses on the textual and rhetorical features of the microblogging platform Twitter as an English for Academic Purposes (EAP) teaching/learning tool. Specifically, it explores affiliation and interaction between expert members of the academic community and novices like PhD students, as well as among the latter. The main features of the discourse of scientific instruction on Twitter are explored from a qualitative as well as a quantitative perspective: the combination of the close reading of the tweets and a corpus-based approach arguably represents the best tool to both investigate the online academic identities of PhD students and advisors and identify what is “central and typical” (Stubbs 1996: 233) of their exchanges. A corpus consisting of tweets hashtagged #acwri (Academic Writing) has been collected and analyzed in order to study the discursive construction of the identity of the academic microbloggers collaborating on Twitter and the rhetoric and language strategies they adopt to enhance both “ambient affiliation” (Zappavigna 2011) and “ambient intimacy” (Reichelt 2007). The last two expressions refer to “a new form of sociality [made possible by the social media environment and] in which language maintains a pivotal role” (Zappavigna 2011: 789). Preliminary results show that expert academicians portray themselves as facilitators rather than transmitters of knowledge (in line with the constructivist paradigm) as indicated by the frequent use of the terms such as “whisper” or “chat” to refer to the online exchanges they participate in. At the other end of the communication process, PhD students, who often suffer from the isolation, stress and uncertainty that are typical of academic research and writing (Percy 2014), appear to express their gratitude for finding valuable resources and being able to interact in a virtual environment which, differently from the physical one, allows them to be productive as well as to de-stress.
No
English
academic writing; twitter; web-based communication; social media; social media platforms
Settore L-LIN/12 - Lingua e Traduzione - Lingua Inglese
Capitolo o Saggio
Sì, ma tipo non specificato
Pubblicazione scientifica
Language for Specific Purposes: Research and Translation across Cultures and Media
G.E. Garzone, D. Heaney, G. Riboni
Prima edizione
Cambridge Scholars Publishing
1-nov-2016
374
394
21
9781443899321
1443899321
Volume a diffusione internazionale
LSP research, teaching and translation across languages and cultures
Milano
2014
CLAVIER Research Group
Convegno internazionale
NON aderisco
G. Riboni
Book Part (author)
none
268
Academic Writing on Twitter: How Microblogging Becomes an Empowering Tool for Researchers / G. Riboni - In: Language for Specific Purposes: Research and Translation across Cultures and Media / [a cura di] G.E. Garzone, D. Heaney, G. Riboni. - Prima edizione. - [s.l] : Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2016 Nov 01. - ISBN 9781443899321. - pp. 374-394 (( convegno LSP research, teaching and translation across languages and cultures tenutosi a Milano nel 2014.
info:eu-repo/semantics/bookPart
1
Prodotti della ricerca::03 - Contributo in volume
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.
Pubblicazioni consigliate

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/475373
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact