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This paper makes the case for studying how people navigate across contexts of socialization in the locality of the nation-state and the virtual environments of the Internet to articulate new ways of using English.

Yet new times may require an expanded research agenda, one that focuses not just on the suppression of diasporic identities by dominant classes.

I examine the language practices of this virtual community and how it provides an additional context of language socialization for the two teenage girls.

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It examines the social and discursive practices in one such networked environment, and seeks to understand how the use of English in this global context of the Internet may relate to the local context of immigrants acquiring English in the United States.

who had turned to a bilingual Chinese/English chat room to develop their fluency in English.

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In short, language learning, be it for native or second language speakers, is an important social practice through which a society constructs and reproduces its dominant beliefs, values, and social relations.

Yet, in the contemporary period of globalization, the construction of identity and social relations is increasingly taking place amidst the trans-border circulation of cultural and discursive materials that embed forms of belonging and subject-making beyond the nation.Recent critique of second language (L2) education has raised questions about the dominant ideology behind the linguistic norm and academic genres into which students are schooled (e.g., Benesch, 1993, 2001; Cope & Kalantzis, 1993; Hammond & Macken-Horarik, 1999; Mc Kay 1993; Pennycook, 1995).It has noted that learning a second language, especially in a context where the L2 is the language of power in society, involves a process of assimilation into the linguistic conventions and cultural practices of the L2 discourse communities.It was in the chat room environment that they participated in the verbal culture of teenagers (in English) and socialized to a collective identity related to the kind of English that they were acquiring.In analyzing the exchanges in the bilingual chat room, I demonstrate and argue that a mixed-code variety of English that includes writing in romanized Cantonese was adopted and developed among the girls and their peers to construct their relationships as bilingual speakers of English and Cantonese.Needed is one that engages with new textual configurations, one that de-reifies concepts of culture, and explores new definitions not only of discourse, but as well of language as necessarily blended, multiglossic, and transcultural.


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