Literacy and learning across transnational online spaces

Wan Shun Eva Lam*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


This article reviews the emerging research literature on literacy in transnational migrant contexts and extends research in this area through an-depth study of how two immigrant teenagers navigated online media across countries to participate in a domain of interest, which included online forum discussion of philosophy and websites related to global Japanese animation and manga (graphic novels). In particular, it examines how the transnational affiliation and frame of reference of the youth affect their literacy development and knowledge making in these interest-based communities. Data consisted of observations, interviews, screen recordings, and think-aloud demonstrations by the youth of how they participated in the online communities. The analyses examine how the youth participated in the specialist language of their domain of interest and, in the case of one of them, how multiple languages were used to gather diverse sources of information and media content distributed across Internet sites in his native and adopted countries. Implications are drawn for an understanding of literacy in transnational migrant contexts as involving knowledge making with people and textual artifacts in distributed networks that reach across national boundaries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)303-324
Number of pages22
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications


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