Research Seminar by LLED Visiting Scholar Dr. Christoph A. Hafner, Nov 2, 12:30-2:00PM

Doing Discourse Analysis in the Digital Age: Issues and Options for Research in Applied Linguistics and Language Education

The upcoming research seminar on Thursday November 2, 12:30-2:00PM, Ponderosa Commons Multipurpose Room (Room 2012) will be hosted by Dr. Christoph A. Hafner, a visiting scholar sponsored by Dr. Bonny Norton. All welcomed!


Digital discourses, i.e. digitally-mediated texts and interactions and their associated ideologies, are having a profound effect on the kinds of real-world communication practices that applied linguists study. Firstly, digital tools feature more and more prominently in such communication practices: indeed, when it comes to written communication, the use of digital tools is now seen as the norm. Secondly, as digital tools have become more and more integrated into people’s lives, there has been a re-ordering of the social contexts that form the focus of applied linguistic research. Finally, digital discourses offer applied linguists a plentiful new source of easily accessible data because of the way that many digital communication tools record, archive and store interactions by default. However, in order to take advantage of these research opportunities, it is necessary to understand the unique challenges that communication in digital media may impose, with respect to ethical data collection, data processing and data analysis. In this talk, I will consider how digital tools have the potential to transform the nature of texts, interactions, and contexts, and the implications that this has for doing discourse analysis in the digital age. I will refer to research in applied linguistics and language education in order to illustrate a range of options in the study of digital texts and interactions.


Christoph A. Hafner is an Associate Professor in the Department of English, City University of Hong Kong. His main research interests are specialized discourse, digital literacies, and language learning and technology. He is co-author (with Rodney Jones) of Understanding Digital Literacies: A Practical Introduction (Routledge, 2012), and co-editor (with Rodney Jones and Alice Chik) of Discourse and Digital Practices: Doing Discourse Analysis in the Digital Age (Routledge, 2015).