Constructing identities in online communities of practice

A case study of online learning

by Leila Kajee (Author)
©2008 Monographs 267 Pages


This book is located at the interface of online learning within a context of English language studies and academic literacy and is underpinned, from a critical theoretical perspective, by an understanding of the implications of the digital divide for developing countries worldwide. The work is an exploration of online learning in an undergraduate English language and academic literacy classroom at a university in South Africa, and theorises the need for technology in developing countries as a means of social inclusion. The aim is to explore the extent to which communities of practice are enabled in an online environment, among English non-mother tongue speakers from technologically under-resourced backgrounds. This study examines the extent to which the students participate, negotiate meaning, and construct identities in online spaces.
From a sociocultural perspective this book locates learning as a form of interaction and co-participation, and argues that learning occurs within specific contexts, hence the focus on how individuals become members of ‘communities of practice’.


ISBN (Softcover)
E-Learning Electronic Lieteracy Local Theorising Negotiation Global Hochschule Empowerment
Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Wien, 2008. 267 pp.

Biographical notes

Leila Kajee (Author)

The Author: Leila Kajee has been involved in English language teaching for over 21 years in South Africa, primarily at tertiary level, and most recently at the University of the Witwatersrand and the University of Johannesburg. She has also been involved in teacher training, where she introduced teacher-trainees to the use of electronic and digital technologies in the English language classroom. Leila Kajee has presented papers at conferences in South Africa and internationally, in the field of online learning, as well as written journal articles in the field. She completed her Ph.D. in Education, focusing on the construction of online identities of university students from technologically under-resourced backgrounds.


Title: Constructing identities in online communities of practice