Mediating Literacy Practices Through Social Networking Discourse

Wai Yi, Diane HUI

Research output: Other Conference ContributionsConference Paper (other)Other Conference Paperpeer-review


Today’s booming digital-media technologies permeate our culture, education, work and daily lives. Recent studies show that a majority of digital age learners worldwide are experienced producers of new literacies involving media content and are active participants on the Internet. Despite abundant literacy research conducted since the 1970s and mostly in the western cultures, research about the new literacy practices of university students in the Asia-Pacific region, especially in formal settings, remains limited. Against this background, as part of a larger study examining emergent possibilities and synergies for new literacies as leverage points for academic literacies for university students in digital humanities, this paper explores extant perceptions and new literacy practices mediated by social networking discourse in a Facebook environment with a group of 85 English major students through four English courses over two years since Fall 2013 in a local liberal arts university. From part of a larger data corpus comprising quantitative and qualitative data, this proposed paper will report specifically on the results of a longitudinal survey concerning the students’ perceived effects of new literacy practices on academic literacies. Preliminary findings show that there is significant improvement in the students’ perceptions of the effects of new literacies on academic literacies in a variety of aspects including their performance in coursework and assessment (p < 0.05). Moreover, students who are more digitally oriented tend to outperform those who may be less so in a range of discipline-based assessment tasks involving social networking discourse. These findings inform future larger-scale explorations of research into how “efficacious learning” of new literacies might be transformed to advance the academic literacies often considered as essential for academic success.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jan 2016
EventSymposium on East Asian Popular Culture: Looking Back, Looking Forward - Hong Kong Institute of Education, Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Duration: 12 Jan 201612 Jan 2016


SymposiumSymposium on East Asian Popular Culture: Looking Back, Looking Forward
Abbreviated titleCPCH-Symposium
Country/TerritoryHong Kong
CityHong Kong
OtherThe one day symposium at the Hong Kong Institute of Education entitled “East Asian Popular Culture: Looking Back, Looking Forward” seeks to examine this field in all its diversity and complexity. The Symposium aims to raise questions and provocations about the direction and scope of the field of study, the formation of an East Asian or pan-East Asian identity, the transnational production and consumption circuits of East Asian Popular Culture and the articulations of the regional, social and political spheres through the discursive modes of representation in East Asian Popular Culture. Paper topics include the study of media such as cinema, TV drama, popular music as well as the analysis of such phenomena as the Korean Wave, fandom culture, youth culture, techno-culture, popular politics etc.
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