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Translanguaging in Online Language Learning: Case Studies of Self-Directed Chinese Learning of Multilingual Adults

Ho, Wing Yee (Jenifer); (2018) Translanguaging in Online Language Learning: Case Studies of Self-Directed Chinese Learning of Multilingual Adults. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

The aim of the thesis is to explain how multilingual adults use their linguistic and semiotic repertoires, which are records of their life experiences and mobility, to facilitate the learning of Chinese, in particular with the reading and writing of Chinese characters. The thesis begins with an overview of the background of the study in relation to the advent of mobile technologies and mobile learners. Through conducting an extensive literature review, it is argued that out-of-class, self-directed language learning through the use of online platforms has been an under-explored area and this thesis aims to fill in that research gap. This thesis adopts a multiperspectival approach in its choice of theoretical framework, consisting of translanguaging, multimodality and multilingualism. Each of these approaches contributes to the thesis in a unique way that crosses theoretical boundaries. This thesis illustrates the possibility of connecting these concepts and using them in a meaningful way so that they complement each other in explaining the complexity of meaning-making. Consequently, a combination of methodological approaches are used, including ethnography and social semiotic multimodality. Together they work in partnership with each other with an aim to generate a holistic view of how learning and teaching is conducted in the online learning environment. Eleven learners were studied in the thesis, among which four case studies are discussed in detail, with a focus on two learning practices: learning to read and learning to write Chinese characters. Learners engaged in these two practices demonstrated how they used their entire linguistic repertoires to construct knowledge through the process of translanguaging. The four case studies supported the need for a 'multimodal turn' in applied linguistics research in order to capture the multimodal nature of communication. Through repeatedly testing the boundaries and reach of translanguaging, multimodality and multilingualism, this thesis calls for a dialogue between applied linguistics and multimodality so that they can complement each other with the unique set of toolkits and explanatory powers that they have. This thesis has provided an example of how these perspectives can be brought together in a meaningful way to explore communication contexts that are complex and diverse.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Translanguaging in Online Language Learning: Case Studies of Self-Directed Chinese Learning of Multilingual Adults
Event: UCL Institute of Education
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Culture, Communication and Media
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10044705
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