Emergent literacy: Practices in an electronic community
Given a virtual space-an electronic newsgroup1-for discussion purposes, how will a newly formed community of university language learners approach communication within that space? What external influences will impact upon that communication? What internal practices will emerge? Could an analysis of emergent discourse practices assist in understanding students’ perceptions, assumptions, or expectations of communication and communities? Could this knowledge be used to assist students in locating their current practices and their approach to communication in a constantly changing world? These were some of the questions leading to a study of language learners’ computer conferences at an academic institution.