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Volume 17 Number 4, Winter 2020, Pages 1158-1546 PDF Download

Multilingual and Multimodal Literacy Beyond School: A Case Study of an Adult Vlogger in China

    Xiao Tan

Second language literacy research in recent years has attended to emerging genres and various literacy practices. Less explored, however, are the innovative ways of meaning-making and communication facilitated by the use of multimodal resources in a foreign-language context. To bridge the gap, this study investigates how a Chinese-English bilingual speaker coordinates and orchestrates design elements in her vlogs and how decision makings are informed by various factors. Interview data and vlog analysis show that the participant is skillful in using digital technologies, anticipating audiences' needs, fulfilling rhetorical purposes, and negotiating with constraining contextual factors. This study challenges the view that learners in an EFL country have limited opportunities to use the language due to the lack of contact with the target language community. It also suggests that EFL educators could build on what learners do on their own while encouraging them to repurpose the use of vlogs and mobile technologies.

Keywords: multilingual, multimodal literacy, vlog, English as a foreign language