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Title: The digital literacy practices of adolescents on a college-affiliated bulletin board system (BBS) in Taiwan
Author: Chen, Szu-Yu
Awarding Body: Lancaster University
Current Institution: Lancaster University
Date of Award: 2010
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This thesis investigates adolescents' on line literacy practices on a college-affiliated bulletin board system, BBS, in Taiwan. Aligned with New Literacy Studies, this research project understands BBS texts as a social practice and explores choices of language, writing systems, orthography and language creativity. These linguistic features constitute college students' digital literacy practices and how the students manage to perform their identity in this online community of practice. Viewing BBS texts as a social practice entails the holistic appreciation of the interplay of the purposes, contexts and resources involved in human sense-making that are appropriately approached through qualitative methods, including through taking an emic perspective. Three qualitative methods are combined: textual analysis, an online questionnaire and a semi-structured group interview. Through the analysis of texts, I show how the diverse multimodal affordances of the BBS texts are innovatively exploited by college students. I investigate lexical, grammatical, pragmatic and graphological features of BBS texts, demonstrating innovation in the writing systems, spelling, code-switching and symbols when students compose BBS texts. An online questionnaire and a group interview reveal college students' perceptions and motives that influence their BBS text-making practices. The findings reported in this thesis demonstrate these screen-based texts are multi modal and dynamic, with a combination of image, onomatopoeic sounds and various modes of representation and communication employed. BBS is shown to have enabled an extended set of orthographic choices, reshaping the nature of traditional writing systems. Students make use of these affordances to foreground their friendship, rapport and cultural bond with peers, constituting an affinity space to share common knowledge and conventions on BBS. These college students use representational resources in multilingual, multiscriptual and multimodal text-making practices and play with writing systems, scripts and symbols. This study reveals that BBS in Taiwan provides a fruitful source of materials in exploring the complexity and creativity of adolescents' digital literacy practices, although further developmental work is still needed for future research.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available