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A PhD research project in second language education. Oxford Brookes University – Lisette Toetenel. The use of the informal register in social networking sites within the second language classroom. Informal register. Informal register is the language that is used in every day conversation

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A PhD research project

in second language education


Oxford brookes university lisette toetenel

Oxford Brookes University – LisetteToetenel

The use of the informal register in social networking sites within the second language classroom


Informal register

  • Informal register is the language that is used in every day conversation

  • (Hiya, how‘re ye’ doin’?)

  • Informal register is difficult to define – it is more flexible than formal language

  • Features of informal language include contractions, ‘that’ deletion and ellipsis.

  • Key to interaction with native speakers in a social context


Research - Informal register

  • Most register studies focus on the contrast between two registers (Biber, 1995)

  • Informal register is rarely taught in second language classroom

  • Assumption is that the informal register is learnt outside the classroom (Biber and Finegan, 1994)

  • The use of the formal register when the informal needs to be used can feel awkward for native speakers


Social networking sites

  • Limited research has focussed on the use of social networking sites

  • Research (Jackson, 2011) suggest that “synchronous online discussion” enhances second language learning

  • Unique mode of communication-form is written but spoken language is used (Lee, 2001)

  • Ideal for practising the use of the informal register


Research project

  • Between January – March 2013 (see next slide for overview)

  • Ten week period – one hour per week to be spent on the project

  • Students will use Ning¹ to receive instruction and practise the target language

  • Support from the researcher is provided by Skype or email

  • ¹alternative to Facebook – it is a more secure and closed access site



Why should I take part?

  • Support academic research

  • Easy integration of ICT in your curriculum

  • Innovative approach to language teaching

  • High quality materials and resources for ten one-hour sessions are provided


Great! How do I sign up?

  • Contact Lisette to receive the institute participation letter.

  • Print the letter and ask your principal to sign

  • Scan the letter and email this to Lisette ([email protected])


References

Biber, D., 1995. Dimensions of register variation. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Biber, D., Finegan, E., 1994. Sociolinguistic perspectives on register. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Jackson, D.O., 2011. Convergent and Divergent Computer-Mediated Communication Tasks in an English for Academic Purposes Course. TESL-EJ 15, 1-18.

Ning available at www.ning.com. Accessed on 04/06/12.

Lee, L., 2001. Online interaction: negotiation of meaning and strategies used among learners of Spanish. ReCALL 13, 232-244.


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