Electronic Paralanguage: Interfacing with the International

Electronic Paralanguage: Interfacing with the International

Katherine Watson (Coast Community College District, USA)
Copyright: © 2007 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-301-2.ch012
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Abstract

Psychologists and linguists agree that communicative elements other than words alone transmit more than 65% of the meaning of any linguistic message. New messages in new languages can be learned quickly and in their cultural context if instructional materials are sheathed in the L2 (“foreign”) “electronic paralanguage” rather than in the students’ native “L1” language. That is, L2 acquisition can take place at an extraordinarily rapid pace if the Netiquette and interfaces, page layouts, buttons, and alternative correspondence styles of the L2 mode of expression are employed. Exemplary adult students of French as a Second Language have demonstrated achievement of unusually high-level reading, writing, and cultural competence skills quickly in an online environment that immerses them in their new L2. Indeed, these students’ success demonstrates at least two things: First, learning a new language may be at least as effective, and is clearly more complete, in an online environment than it is in a traditional classroom, and second, that educators online should attend to all features of the electronic environment, rather than simply to the subject matter that it transmits.

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