Mobile literacies: Appropriating txt in the M4LIT Project

Walton, Marion (2014) Mobile literacies: Appropriating txt in the M4LIT Project, Multimodal approaches to research and pedagogy: Recognition, resources and access, 108-128, London: Routledge.

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In South Africa young people across socio-economic groups have appropriated the mobile internet and social media, for prolific everyday messaging. The m4Lit project (Mobiles for Literacy) recruited around 63,000 South African readers using mobile internet and an m-novel. An attempt to create an affinity space around the mobile website,, was less successful. The chapter explores participation and non-participation in in relation to characteristic participation inequalities of social media. It also distinguishes mobile messaging and the modal resources of txt from the more elaborate repertoire of Web2.0-style digital literacy practices. Unlike elite varieties of new literacies and forms of participatory culture requiring expensive infrastructure, local messaging practices emphasize affordability and are shaped by features of ‘digital materiality’:the platform, MXit, prepaid data, and feature phones. Contributors’ wall posts, messages, fiction and poetry are analysed to show how identity and releationships emerge over time through various kinds of txt messaging, in written profiles, through mutual interviews and other specific literacy practices associated with txt and messaging in social media The chapter points to interactions between spoken and written modes and letters and numbers, initialization, transcription and contractions, framing a challenge to normative approaches to both mLearning and literacy.

Item Type: Book chapter
Uncontrolled Keywords: mobile literacies, literacy, m4lit, multimodality, texting
Subjects: Social and professional topics > Professional topics > Computing education
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Date Deposited: 02 Apr 2015
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2019 15:32

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