The Anglicization of Algerian netizens : a multimodal social semiotic study

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Universite Mouloud MAMMERI Tizi-Ouzou


The present study is concerned with the analysis of the Anglicization of Algerian netizens through Facebook groups and pages designed in English. It is intended to determine the assumptions behind the use of English by Algerian Facebookers, who live in an environment which seldom allows them direct access to real spoken or written English except through the web. The study is based on Mixed Methods Research. It combines quantitative and qualitative methods. It uses a descriptive statistical method to elicit statistical data, then, adopts a Critical Discourse Analysis for the interpretation and explanation of the results. It also applies Kress’ and Theo Van Leeuwen’s Social Semiotic Multimodal Approach to account for the whole visual design and layout of Algerian Facebook groups and pages designed in English at both the linguistic and visual levels. In order to gather the data, two questionnaires are used. The first questionnaire is addressed to Algerian netizens using English through Facebook groups and pages. The second questionnaire is addressed to Algerian designers of Facebook groups and pages using English. Visuals extracted from the same groups and pages are randomly selected.The findings show that the use of English in Algeria is remarkably increasing, especially in cyberspace as Facebook groups and pages designed in English are emerging steadily, and if things continue evolving this way, English may, in the long run, and most probably in the digital context, threaten the status of French in Algeria. Yet, its level and degree of usage remains confined to the young literate elite, which includes mainly teachers of English, university lecturers, students and doctors. In fact, Algerian netizens, especially the young generation, are aware of the importance of English as an international language of business, diplomacy, science and technology, and therefore, they do not only use it for learning the language itself but also for other purposes, including fun, entertainment, meeting new people, striving to be up to date and expressing themselves. Interestingly, this online use of English is not completely a matter of being part of the globalized world, because even if the Algerian youth are fond of using English in Facebook groups and pages, it does not mean that they forget their culture. Rather, it is quite the opposite, as they use English to make their culture known overseas. This is particularly obvious in their use of visuals. More than that, it can be assumed that such use of English is also a call for change in the Algerian linguistic policy because the Algerian netizens surveyed want English to be the first foreign language in Algeria in the future. Indeed, this study has proven that a change in the Algerian educational policy towards English appears salutary to cope with the increasing demand of English use


342f. : ill. ; 30cm. + CD Rom


Algerian netizens : study, Anglicization, Mulyimadality, Facebook


Language Sciences