Local Norms in CALL Language Practice

Local Norms in CALL Language Practice

Jonathan R. White (Department of English, Högskolan Dalarna, Falun, Sweden)
DOI: 10.4018/IJCALLT.2016010103
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This article presents an investigation into what norms are negotiated in a CALL classrooms by non-native speakers of English who are Internet novices. There is an on-going debate regarding the status of non-native speaker norms. Although there is more and more recognition that they are valid learner targets, native speaker norms are still reported to have the highest status for learners. Internet language use, though, has led to a change in the perception of norms, as communities of non-native speakers can set their own norms over those of native speakers. Data are analysed from academic textchat seminars which show that a community of inexperienced Internet users set their own norms, which go directly against their L1 community cultural norms of respect towards teachers. This paper proposes that it is an affordance of CALL environments that they can do this. This work is further evidence that it is smaller discourse communities that set norms separate from those of larger geo-political national communities.
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We start the background with a discussion of targets in language learning, move on to attitudes to native and non-native norms, norms in communities, and end with a discussion of norms in online communication.

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