Mongolian students’ digital literacy practices: the interface between English and the internet
Palavras-chave:Mongolian university students. Digital literacy practice. Use of English.
ResumoOver the last few decades, Mongolia has experienced social, economic, technological and political changes. Those changes have contributed to the growing cultural status of English mediated in particular through the digital literacy practices of young Mongolians. However, much of the digital and new media research takes place in predominantly AngloAmerican contexts (Prinsloo & Rowsell, 2012) and not much is known about what shapes Mongolian university students’ use of digital technologies. The research reported on here aims to fill this gap. Drawing on perspectives offered by the field of Literacy Studies, which analyses literacy practices within the social and cultural contexts in which they occur, and employing a mixed methods approach, the research examines how Mongolian university students majoring in English used digital technologies, especially the internet, in their everyday lives. Data were generated through a survey of 98 students and through observations of and interviews with six case study participants who came from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds. The findings indicate that most students’ digital literacy practices were directed towards improving their English. They used digital technologies strategically by negotiating the issues of cost and time, and exercised agency in personalising the technologies to support their English learning and eventually to improve their social positions. However, the findings also suggest that the participants’ engagement with digital technologies was shaped by contextual and structural factors which included family background, personal resources such as English proficiency, digital literacies and aspirations. The research considers how the findings may inform improvements to educational practices around the teaching and learning of English and digital literacies in Mongolian universities.
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