Going beyond oral-written-signed-irl-virtual divides

Theorizing languaging from mind-as-action perspectives


  • Sangeeta Bagga-Gupta Jönköping University




Everyday communication, Literacy, orality, signed language, digital, 21st century


The multidisciplinary research presented in this paper focuses everyday life and social practices that can be characterized by the use of one (or more) language variety, modality or register. Conceptual ideas that arise from explorations based upon empirical analysis of situated and distributed so called monolingual and multilingual oral talk, written communication, signed interactions and embodiment in and across virtual and in-real-life settings inside and outside higher education and schools are presented and discussed. Using sociocultural and decolonial perspectives on language-use or languaging, analytical findings from traditionally segregated fields of study – Literacy Studies, Bilingualism, Deaf education, Language Studies – are juxtaposed. An overarching concern here is framed by the continuing dominance of structural linguistic positions and demarcated fields within the Language and Educational Sciences that frame didactical thinking. The work presented here highlights concerns regarding established concepts like ‘bilingualism’ and ‘codes’ and suggests more empirically relevant alternatives like ‘chaining’, ‘languaging’, ‘fluidity’, ‘timespace’ and ‘visual-orientation’ from ethnographically and netnographically framed projects where data-sets include everyday life in virtual settings and educational institutions in the global North. Focusing social practices – what is communicated and the ways in which communication occurs – challenges currently dominant monolingual and monological perspectives on human language broadly and oral, written and signed languaging specifically.

Author Biography

Sangeeta Bagga-Gupta, Jönköping University

Sangeeta Bagga-Gupta is Professor and Chair in Education at the School of Education and Communication, Jönköping University, Jönköping, Sweden. She is the Scientific Head of the Research Environments (i) CCD, Communication, Culture and Diversity and (ii) LPS, Learning Practices inside and outside Schools.



How to Cite

Bagga-Gupta, S. (2017). Going beyond oral-written-signed-irl-virtual divides: Theorizing languaging from mind-as-action perspectives. Writing & Pedagogy, 9(1), 49–75. https://doi.org/10.1558/wap.27046




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