The ongoing technocultural production of L1: current practices and future prospects

Nikolaj Elf, Scott Bulfin, Dimitrios Koutsogiannis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review


From a cultural perspective, it should not be surprising that technology has always played a key role in co-shaping the development of the L1 subject. However, the technocultural nature of L1 is often forgotten due to the naturalization of the dominant technologies of literacy in each historical period, such as paper and pen in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and digital communication technologies in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. In this chapter, we argue that technology is inseparable from L1 as a set of utterances, practices, and discourses, which together construct L1 subject cultures around the globe. The chapter has three main aims. First, to describe the technocultural nature of L1 as a subject domain, connecting the past with the present, and arguing that the spirit of globalization, or even universalism, tends to frame the content, context and justification of L1 language teaching in the twenty-first century. Second, from a spatial perspective, to focus on how and why globally circulating terms, discourses and heuristics, related to digital media in teaching L1, are used as available global resources and repertoires to design local initiatives in three different educational ecologies: Australia, Denmark and Greece. Emphasis is given to highlighting how globally circulating discourses are not clear-cut scientific inventions but flexible resources that are recontextualized locally in different ways. Indicative examples are drawn from local teaching practices in each country. Finally, we move beyond a historical and spatial discourse analysis to ask questions about the ontologies and epistemologies of a technocultural rationale and/or reality in L1 education.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRethinking L1 Education in A Global Era
Subtitle of host publicationUnderstanding the (Post-)National L1 Subjects in New and Difficult Times
EditorsBill Green, Per-Olof Erixon
Place of PublicationCham Switzerland
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)9783030559977
ISBN (Print)9783030559960
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

NameEducational Linguistics
ISSN (Print)1572-0292
ISSN (Electronic)2215-1656


  • Classrooms
  • Critical literacy
  • Digital technology
  • Globalisation
  • History
  • Identity
  • Internet
  • New literacies
  • Twitter
  • Youtube

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