Meet Alice Alice is a free software that can be downloaded from www.alice.org. It was originally developed at the University of Virginia and then Carnegie Melon University.
Purpose The original purpose of this software is to prepare students to learn and understand programming languages. This program is also used currently in the States to teach Spanish to English speakers
How it works Alice is a 3D programming software. It enables teachers and students to create animations, videos, or games for sharing them in the classroom or the web
How it works The program, through its interactive interface, enables users to drag and drop graphic tiles (that carries the code) to create their stories (story telling Alice)
How it works (cont.) It also contains 3D objects such as people, animals, and other objects that the students can use to create a virtual world of their own with animated objects.
Language input Using games and animations has become pivotal tool in the classroom provided that the Language input is included and the game or the animation meets the lesson objectives. (Beatty, 2010)
First study Location: German University in Cairo, Youngsters Summer Club Duration: Two weeks Language input: Speech acts (Agreeing and disgreeing) Exploratory
Sample 12 students from different Egyptian high schools 2 students were from a British school the rest were from private schools where the medium of instruction is English. Convenient sample
Experiment The students were taught speech act (the traditional way). Role play was used as an activity The following week, the students were introduced to Alice. The grasped the idea quickly and their task was to produce animations with situations using agreeing and disagreeing
Findings More motivated, more creative Spontaneity of interaction between characters (visible) Gender differences
Experience in Saudi Arabia Program: Preparatory Year Program (PYP) in Prince Sultan University Learning difficulties: spelling mistakes, lack reading skills, writing problems
Study Longitudinal : Ending June 2012 RC students (Reading Circles) and Grammar 107 and 117 students The RC students are supposed to create one episode of a story that voices certain cultural aspects and also using direct or indirect speech acts or appropriate language input as advised by the instructor
Grammar Two courses are taught in PSU 107 and 117 and the students should also create animations (using modality, conditional If …..etc)
Other suggested uses of Alice Teaching vocabulary: Like word attack, teachers can create movies, animations and videos to teach difficult vocabulary
How can teachers use it Warm up Examples Thought-provoking activities Can be posted on FB or teacher’s wiki or website by converting it into a video
How can students use it Projects Presentations Tasks
Strengths of Alice in EFL classroom Alice is a 3-D programming environment and it is not required Drag and drop is easy Interactive interface Students can immediately view their animations
Weaknesses Stick to gallery Cannot be uploaded directly to the web. It has to be converted into a video or the user has to install 3-D java and other programs
Utilizing other applications with Alice Youtube, teachertube Wikis Websites : yola
Alice URL: www.alice.org Go to downloads and choose Alice 2.2. It is downloaded as a zip folder. Unzip it and open story telling Alice. You can use the first step by step tutorial to learn how it works.
References AlKhayat, A. (2010) Using Storytelling Alice to Motivate English Language Learners . Proceedings of The International Technology, Education and Development (INTED)Conference Beatty, K. (2010) Teaching and Researching: Computer Assisted Language Learning. Pearson: London www.Alice.org http://www.alice.org/index.php?page=downloads/download_alice http://www.alice.org/index.php?page=downloads/download_alice2.2 http://www.alice.org/community/showthread.php?p=6740#post6740 What is Alice? M. Moskal, D. Lurie, and S. Cooper, Evaluating the Effectiveness of a New Instructional Approach. In Proceedings of 2004 SIGCSE Conference, (Norfolk, VA). Storytelling Alice About page Looking Glass research overview Alice Press Release - 03/10/06 A Preview of Alice 3.0 Alice 3.0 Progress Report http://blog.alice.org/?p=293 Sun collaboration http://www.alice.org/index.php?page=alice3/download