Language use in social network sites

The influence of orality in the digital writing of Mexican bilinguals


  • M. Sidury Christiansen The University of Texas at San Antonio, One UTSA Circle, San Antonio, TX 78249



digital literacy, orality, bilinguals, writing pedagogy, multilingualism, Facebook


The language used in digital communication has erroneously been considered a simple extension of spoken language. However, research has established that writers in digital environments reshape orthographies to construct identities and audiences and with the help of other social-semiotic resources such as images, sounds, and hyperlinks, they create new meanings (Androutsopoulos, 2015; Knobel and Lankshear, 2008; Mills, 2010). Such research has not thoroughly examined bilingual populations, who employ their often vast repertoire of language varieties to similar ends. The goal of this article is to explore a specific case of how orality influences writing in the digital spaces of members of a social network of Mexican bilinguals. By studying how these bilinguals communicate on Facebook, we can observe how in relationship to the semi-public platform, they create new meanings through linguistically innovative audience-based writing. This practice aids them in maintaining their bilingualism and their bilingual identity.

Author Biography

M. Sidury Christiansen, The University of Texas at San Antonio, One UTSA Circle, San Antonio, TX 78249

Assistant Professor Department of Bicultural Bilingual Studies


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How to Cite

Christiansen, M. S. (2017). Language use in social network sites: The influence of orality in the digital writing of Mexican bilinguals. Writing and Pedagogy, 9(2), 369-392.



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