‚??Hav-a-nese Day‚?Ě: Literacy and the language of identity in an online discussion group

  • Barbara Guzzetti Arizona State University
  • Leslie Foley Arizona State University


Typically, online forums of electronic discussion groups have been used in adult literacy education, formal programs designed for students ages 18 and above outside of higher education as support for academic courses rather than to foster literacy advancement through shared passions (Hayes, 2007). These online discussion forums have generally been used in limited and traditional ways in literacy instruction for adults (Hayes, 2007, 2004). Yet, studies conducted from the perspective of the New Literacies (Gee, 1996; Street, 1995) have documented how adults advanced their own and others? literate practices through an online discussion board focused on a common interest, known as an affinity group (e.g., Hayes & Gee, 2012; Merchant & Davies, 2011).  Hence, calls have been made to investigate the potential of online discussion forums for fostering literacy advancement through identity expression and community formation and to explore the role of emotionality expressed in online texts in contributing to these goals (Thomas, 2005; Baym, 1995).