Second Life as a Social Learning Environment

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Second Life as a Social Learning Environment

A SLanguages 2009 Presentation

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  • 1. Second Life Social Learning Environment
  • 2. Overview • Introduction • Experiences of a Language Learner – Pierre Moussy • Lessons Learned for SL Educators – Howard Vickers
  • 3. Social Experiences • 4 types of experiences in virtual worlds – Gaming – Building – Immersive – Social
  • 4. Social Places • Meeting strangers – Conversation practice – Specific meetings and events • Group meetings – Colleagues – Friends – Class meetings
  • 5. Pierre’s Comments • Virtual worlds are engaging – Too engaging? • Virtual worlds are real – So real that learners are self conscious • Language use is real – Speech / texting can be fast and complicated
  • 6. Pierre’s Comments • Conversation practice is not motivating – Conversations are often less engaging than the virtual world itself • Text is big in Second Life – Voice is often used – but text often used first
  • 7. Observations from Comments • Psychological barriers to speaking – Solutions needed to overcome them • Lower levels find it more difficult – Approaches needed to assist lower levels (A1 – B1) – Especially relevant for languages other than English
  • 8. Observations from Comments • Tasks / specific activities may help – Guiding students with social interaction • Text is steppingstone – Start using text, move on to voice
  • 9. Types of Specific Activities • Interviews – Find interviewees in themed islands • Tasks – Visit shops and offices • Events – Tutorials, meetings & SLanguages!
  • 10. A Different Communication? • Second Life communication is different – Texting is general – Voice is more specific • Quality – Less background noise – Lower quality (bandwidth?) • Asynchronous nature – Use dictionaries mid conversation
  • 11. Role of Teachers • Focus on low tech approach – Dogme methods – Task based learning methods • Student at centre – Guide on the side
  • 12. Conclusions • Second Life for social learning – Conversation practice – Discussions and interviews • Student experience – Challenging but engaging – General conversation practice less motivating • Guidance for effectiveness and motivation – Tasks / specific activities
  • 13. Learn more… Further information on using 3D virtual worlds for language education available on our website… www.avatarlanguages.com/howweteach.php
  • 14. Online Language School • One-to-one language classes – Spanish – English – Other languages www.avatarlanguages.com
  • 15. Second Life Social Learning Environment
  • 16. SLanguages 2009 This presentation was given at SLanguages 2009 The Conference for Language Education in Virtual Worlds slanguages.net