Real and Imagined Roles for Technology in Acquiring Second-Language Literacy

Authored by: Elizabeth B. Bernhardt

International Handbook of Literacy and Technology

Print publication date:  April  2006
Online publication date:  January  2013

Print ISBN: 9780805850871
eBook ISBN: 9780203929131
Adobe ISBN: 9781135609580


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Whenever the adjectival phrase “second-language” is added to any noun phrase, an immediate and critical need to dissect the two phrases separately and then to examine their conflation arises. “Second-language literacy and technology” is most assuredly no exception to axiom. Certainly, “second-language literacy” carries with it a set of challenges often referred to as double and triple jeopardy. These challenges include learning a new oral language; learning about literacy processes in general; learning a written language that does not match the oral dimension of the first language; trying to comprehend words and sentences in the second language; and attempting to integrate all of these components simultaneously into a coherent and culturally consistent meaning. The potential for overload and for misunderstanding is vast. A short circuit in any of these multiple processes can push a comprehender into chaos.

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