Document Type

Book Chapter


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence

Publication Details

Book chapter in Critical Design and Effective Tools for E-Learning in Higher Education: Theory into Practice. Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference. 2011.


This chapter explores a sociolinguistic approach to computer-mediated communication (CMC), by examining how higher education teachers use digital media to manage interpersonal interaction in their online courses, form impressions, shape and maintain relationships with their students. Previous studies have often focused on the differences between online and offline interactions, though contemporary research is moving towards the view that CMC should be studied as an embedded linguistic form in everyday life. The study of language in these contexts is typically based on text-based forms of CMC, (often referred to as computer-mediated discourse analysis). Within this, focus in the chapter is on the devising and implementation of pragmatic linguistics of online interactions; at a high level this refers to meaning-making, shared belief systems and intercultural differences; at a specific level this includes issues such as turn-taking and the sequential analysis and organisation of virtual ‘interlocution’.