Type Forum
License CC BY 4.0

Comics, crowdsourcing and up-votes: EFL on the front page of the Internet

Abstract

The social-media news website “Reddit” boasts a huge readership with over 35 million unique visitors for December 2011 alone. Content is generated by users, who submit links from other websites to the various sub-forums. Users also have the ability to comment on links, providing the means for a community to be developed. Both content and comments can be promoted or demoted based on a voting system. This paper focuses on the creation of a sub-forum on Reddit for the purpose of submitting the work of EFL learners, the notion being that other Reddit users, primarily native English speakers, may be crowd-sourced in order to provide feedback, comments, or corrections for students to read, and provide grounds for cross-cultural communication. Firstly we provide a detailed overview of what Reddit is. Following this, we introduce a particular type of comic that has an enormous popularity on Reddit: rage comics. Literature regarding electronic literacy, the use of comics in language learning, and computer-mediated communication is then covered. We then detail the methodology used to introduce, create and submit such comics with our learners. Lastly, we share the results of a questionnaire designed to reveal student perceptions of the project, and discuss possible considerations for future implementations.

Citation

York, J., & Stillar, S. (2013). Comics, crowdsourcing and up-votes: EFL on the front page of the Internet. The JALT CALL Journal, 9(1), 99-112.