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Vernacular mobile literacies: multimodality, creativity and cultural identity

Albawardi, A. and Jones, H. R. ORCID: (2020) Vernacular mobile literacies: multimodality, creativity and cultural identity. Applied Linguistics Review, 11 (4). pp. 649-676. ISSN 1868-6311

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1515/applirev-2019-0006


This paper focuses on how advanced learners of English at a woman’s college in Saudi Arabia use Snapchat to communicate with their classmates. It examines not just the way the English language becomes a meaning making resource in these exchanges, but also how English is strategically mixed with photos, drawings, emoji’s, and other languages to create meanings, identities, and relationships. The theoretical framework used to understand these strategies is adopted from Scollon and Scollon’s (2003) model of ‘geosemiotics’, an approach to discourse that focuses on how meanings (as well as identities and relationships) are created through the ways semiotic resources are arranged in physical space. The analysis highlights how Snapchat creates opportunities for female learners of English in Saudi Arabia to open up new ‘cultural spaces’, and how these spaces can facilitate their language learning. At the same time, it is argued, these new ‘cultural spaces’ are contingent on the various creative ways these learners make use of physical space. Implications for understanding the relationship between creativity and translanguaging are discussed.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Interdisciplinary Research Centres (IDRCs) > Centre for Literacy and Multilingualism (CeLM)
Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Literature and Languages > English Language and Applied Linguistics
ID Code:81521
Publisher:De Gruyter


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