Journal of Applied Linguistics and Professional Practice, JAL Vol 4, No 2 (2007)

Towards evaluative meaning-making through enactive role play:The case of pre-tertiary students in Second Life

Caroline M.L. Ho, Amilyn M.H. Ong
Issued Date: 14 Sep 2015


This paper is an exploratory study into enhancing students’ critical thinking and argumentation skills through enactive role play in a virtual environment. Specifically, it focuses on the construction of evaluative expressions within a community of 17-18 year old Singaporean participants in the Second Life virtual world. Drawing on Martin and White’s (2005) Appraisal framework, the investigation delves into how participants overtly encode through linguistic means the virtual roles which they enact as they challenge, defend or persuade each other where appropriate. Participants’ evaluative meaning-making practices are reflective of the argumentation process at work through the virtual role-play. The study also examines paralinguistic cues adopted by participants. Form-function analysis of features such as facial expressions, head movements, body gestures in the virtual dialoguing offers a study of the interplay of these modalities as strategic devices which enhance to varying degrees the nuances of evaluative meaning-making in the virtual environment. Pedagogical implications of our findings are discussed.

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DOI: 10.1558/japl.v4i2.171


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