ICT and Language Learning: From Print to the Mobile Phone by Marie-Madeleine Kenning (auth.)

By Marie-Madeleine Kenning (auth.)

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G. greater informality) can be interpreted in various ways. Giving priority to technology, they will be explained in terms of speedy communication. Whereas if one gives priority to the social, email is seen as producing new relations involving greater proximity with one’s interlocutors. This greater proximity then promotes the reshaping of 20 ICT and Language Learning language in the direction of speech-like forms. If, however, technology is viewed as enhancing and reflecting linguistic and social change, rather than precipitating it, email language will be presented as part of a general tendency towards less edited and more personal forms of writing (Baron, 2003: 88).

The influence of technological conditions on the ups and downs of individual channels and modes can be seen in the education world, where the work now produced by students is visually far superior to the assignments handed in by their predecessors. Not that improvements are wholly attributable to the existence of better materials and facilities. They are partly due to a growing awareness of the communicative benefits arising from the use of colour, careful layout, and other means of enhancing aesthetic appearance, awareness which in turn derives from, and contributes to, the growing attention paid to the visual.

But whether communication is viewed as a process by which a source sends a message to a destination on whom it has an effect, or as a negotiation and exchange of meanings involving diverse interactions, it is useful for analytical purposes to isolate certain key elements without which communication cannot occur. This is not to deny the dynamism and fluidity of communication, and the interdependence of the various component parts. As will become clear, the elements discussed below are actually intertwined and do not operate independently.

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