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Synchronous Mobile-Mediated Communication: An Analysis of Discourse Functions and the Nature of Negotiations

Journal: The Journal of Social Sciences Research (Vol.5, No. 10)

Publication Date:

Authors : ; ;

Page : 1419-1427

Keywords : Mobile-mediated communication; Discourse functions; Negotiation for meaning; Negotiation for form; WhatsApp as an MMC tool.;

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Negotiating meaning and form has an important role in the development of a language. At the same time, written and audio output may also vary, which can lead to the generation of a variety of discourse functions and materialize in teaching methodologies and academic content used in the language teaching process. Since technology is increasingly becoming an indispensable and integral educational tool across the world, Saudi Arabia being no exception, language teachers are encouraged to integrate new technologies into their teaching methodology and practice to ensure they meet learners' needs. WhatsApp Messenger, as a messaging and Voice over IP (VoIP) service that allows users to, among others, send text and voice messages and make voice and video calls, is investigated as a real-time language learning in this research. The current paper was conceived out of the researcher's consistent observation of the positive impact of synchronous audio and written mobile-mediated communication tools, in particular WhatsApp, and the nature of negotiating meaning and form on the development of English as a foreign language for ESL and EFL learners. There has been previous similar research on WhatsApp as an educational tool but, in these studies, the language outcomes have largely been neglected. By analyzing audio and text negotiations and interactions conducted over WhatsApp, and comparing them with equivalent asynchronous computer-based exchanges, this study aims to investigate different types of discourse functions that are used in the negotiation of meaning via synchronous mobile-mediated communication. On a micro level, we compare Synchronous Audio Mobile-Mediated Communication (SAMMC) and Synchronous Written Mobile-Mediated Communication (SWMMC) modes of interaction, when applying discourse functions, to determine which mode offers a greater range of innovative language output. The language output of forty undergraduate EFL learners was studied over a five-week period and it was concluded that SAMMC outperformed SWMMC in terms of the scope of meaning and form.

Last modified: 2019-10-18 19:18:44