Tracing EFL writers’ digital literacy practices in asynchronous communication: A multiple-case study

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5 Citations (Scopus)


This article reports on a multiple-case study, tracing three Chinese EFL writers’ digital literacy practices in a Sino-US telecollaboration project. The EFL writers communicated with their undergraduate American peers, exchanged comments on their essays and discussed sociocultural issues in an asynchronous forum. Data sources included the Chinese participants’ postings, learning diaries, and process-tracing interviews. Framed from an ecological, relation-sensitive perspective, within-case analyses and cross-case comparisons were conducted to examine the contextual and mediational relations of the writers’ digital literacy practices. It was found that the participants adaptively transferred practices from distant, recent, and immediate contexts in response to their emergent learning and communication needs. When reading and writing forum posts, they acted upon the affordances inherent in and arising from across a variety of mediational resources. The contextual and mediational relations were co-determined by an interplay of material, social, and individual factors. These findings show that an ecological perspective provides a useful lens through which to examine EFL writers’ digital literacies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100754
JournalJournal of Second Language Writing
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • Asynchronous communication
  • Digital literacies
  • EFL writers
  • Mediation
  • Transfer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language


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