Annual Review of Applied Linguistics

Research Article


Mark Warschauer and Douglas Grimes


The second-generation Web has amplified and extended new ways of online communication. Millions of people now interact through blogs, collaborate through wikis, play multiplayer games, publish podcasts and video, build relationships through social network sites, and evaluate all the above forms of communication through feedback and ranking mechanisms. This article analyzes the emergent semiotics of what has been called Web 2.0 by focusing on three critical elements of language use and communication: audience, authorship, and artifact. Drawing on recent theoretical and empirical work, this article considers the significance of transformations in these three areas for both research and teaching.

Mark Warschauer is Professor of Education and Informatics at the University of California, Irvine. Previously, he taught and conducted research at the University of Hawai'i, Charles University in Prague, and Moscow Linguistic University in Russia, and served as director of educational technology on a US aid project supporting language education reform in Egypt. His books include Laptops and Literacy (Teachers College Press, 2006), Technology and Social Inclusion (MIT Press, 2003), and Electronic Literacies (Erlbaum, 1999). His research examines students' language and literacy practices in technology-intensive settings inside and out of school.

Contact information:

Douglas Grimes is a doctoral candidate in Informatics at the University of California, Irvine. His dissertation research focuses on the use of automated writing evaluation software for middle school writing instruction. He has published in a range of journals on that topic and on other uses of technology in K-16 education. He is currently examining ways that automated and human feedback can be combined to promote literacy and learning in multiplayer computer games.

Contact information: