Online informal language learning: Insights from a Korean learning community

Oct. 11, 2018, 1:01 p.m.
Oct. 15, 2018, 9:52 p.m.
Oct. 15, 2018, 9:52 p.m.
Volume 22 Number 3, October 2018
Isbell, Daniel R.
Informal language learning in online communities represents a growing area of interest. In part, this interest is due to the potential for meaningful second language (L2) communication, rather than the “learning about language” argued to be prevalent in L2 classrooms (Thorne, Black, & Sykes, 2009, p. 804). This study reports on a netnographic investigation (Kozinets, 2010) of an online community for learning Korean. Data collection took place over seven weeks and included observation of a Reddit forum, observation of a chatroom, and an open-ended questionnaire. Activity theory (Engeström, 2001) informed the analysis of the community learning activity. Contrary to what has been reported about language learning in many online communities, findings revealed relatively little target-language use and a great deal of learning about language. English was used 93% of the time on the forum, and 81% of the time in the chatroom. Other findings include highly-participatory interactional patterns for learning about linguistic forms, community rules designed to promote learning on a democratically organized web platform, and a stark division of community labor between language learners and language experts.
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Isbell, D. R. (2018). Online informal language learning: Insights from a Korean learning community. Language Learning & Technology, 22(3), 82–102.
University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center Michigan State University Center for Language Education and Research
Collaborative Learning Computer-Mediated Communication Learner Autonomy Social Networking
Online informal language learning: Insights from a Korean learning community