Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Arts




Zheng Zhang


This case study was conducted in a four-week winter program of an English language center affiliated to a university that is situated in a city in Ontario. Underpinned by theories on new media literacies, actor-network theory, and curriculum, the thesis examines human and nonhuman actors that enabled and constrained students’ new media literacies practices in the English language learning program. Despite the fact that there are emergent studies on new media literacies, there is scarce literature on human and nonhuman actors that influence students’ new media literacies practices. In this study, sources of data included curricular documents, students’ artifacts, classroom observations of 12 student participants and two instructors, and semi-structured interviews with six student participants. Findings show that students’ new media literacies practices of transmedia navigation, appropriation, judgment, and distributed cognition were enabled in the program whereas the practices of networking, participatory culture, and collective intelligence were constrained to a certain degree. The study also identified human and nonhuman actors that shaped students’ new media literacies practices, such as program design, materiality of classrooms, and individual differences of student participants. This study provides curricular and pedagogical suggestions to English language learning programs in order to enable and expand students’ new media literacies practices and bolster their language learning.