Using Second Life in Foreign Language Instruction-practical advice


Published on

Additional references:

O’Connor, E. A. (2008). Becoming a virtual instructor: How can higher education faculty prepare for Second Life?. In G. Richards (Ed.), Proceedings of World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education 2008 (pp. 1144-1149). Chesapeake, VA: AACE.

O’Connor, E. (2010). Instructional and design elements that support effective use of virtual worlds: what graduate student work reveals about Second Life, Journal of Educational Technology Systems, 38(2), 213-234.

Published in: Education, Technology
  • @NurRamli1 Sorry I am seeing this late - Second Life is getting very expensive and we are looking into OpenSim. I am doing more work there - please email me at and I can send you more info about using these new and wonderful tools
    Are you sure you want to  Yes  No
    Your message goes here
  • Hi Dr. Eileen. I'm planning to focus on SL in ESL teaching for my phd but the problem is SL has not been implement in Malaysian curriculum as yet. I probably will have problems in experimenting SL in order to collect the data. Do you have any advice or other better solutions to this?
    Are you sure you want to  Yes  No
    Your message goes here
  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide
  • Interactive
  • this recreation of Le Mont Saint Michel off the coast of France; this recreation of Le Mont Saint Michel off the coast
  • Using Second Life in Foreign Language Instruction-practical advice

    1. 1. Using Virtual Spaces (such as Second Life) in Language Education: Why and How To Get Started <br />Introductory practical advice from Dr. Eileen O’Connor<br />Empire State College / State University of NY, USA<br /><br />Presented at: 4th International Scientific and Methodological Conference on:<br />Information and Communication Technologies in Foreign Language Teaching<br />at Moscow State University<br />
    2. 2. Agenda <br />Overview of key uses of virtual spaces<br />Images of Second Life (SL) usage by O’Connor<br />Ideas for bringing language education in virtual space <br />Practical /exploratory ways to get started – with minimal startup and support <br />See companion paper submitted to the conference for more details & for expanded bibliography<br />
    3. 3. What is a virtual learning environment?<br />Three-dimensional visual backgrounds<br />Individuals work at their computers and operate an avatar (a human personification that the individual creates)<br />Depending on the design and purpose, any number of scenarios and interactions can be created—you develop your own world<br />Examples & illustrations will follow<br />
    4. 4. Key applications & findings<br />Distance is not a problem; more realistic and immersive than online – students get to see their colleagues<br />YOU can have “authentic” settings – museum, cathedrals, famous locations; you can find islands that can help promote the language, locations, and cultures of different countries<br />Educators can meet and discuss teaching & learning <br />The use of avatars can make students more comfortable with communication, very important with language instruction<br />
    5. 5. Create simple working spaces for students (such as this MAT Science Center)<br />
    6. 6. Have class presentations – PowerPoint gone virtual <br />
    7. 7. Meet across distance, such as this meeting with the Dean<br />
    8. 8. Bring in guest lecturers – again, crossing the barriers of geography<br />
    9. 9. Attend professional meetings– such as this NASA/NSF meeting for science education<br />
    10. 10. Experience simulations, such as this virtual, but actual, weather<br />
    11. 11. Or re-create a tsunami at this NOAA site <br />
    12. 12. Best expressed through an instructional metaphor: like designing an intelligent experience (field trip / discussions / role playing / construction) . . . with an assessment <br />More advanced uses<br />
    13. 13. Considering applications of Second Life to language learning<br />
    14. 14.
    15. 15. Second Life (SL): virtual worlds for teaching language skills <br />International meeting area—enhances the cultural aspects of the target language<br />Communication with native speakers in SL – with text chatting and with voice <br />Networking locations for language educators<br />Opportunities for language role playing and practice <br />Students may be more comfortable practicing language through an avatar <br /> - shows a current application <br /> -- provides general application <br />
    16. 16. Visit cultural <br />locations<br />
    17. 17. And man-made wonders<br />
    18. 18. How can you learn to use these Second Life features? <br />
    19. 19. Getting started yourself<br />Get the free download ( then explore and test <br />Consider ways you might work; find existing organizations (use Search in SL)<br />Join an education listserv; find more information at<br />See more details in the paper associated with this presentation <br />
    20. 20. Marshalling support & locations<br />Find where you have support –from administration and from technology staff <br />but you can work on a basic level without such support<br />Look for places where you might work <br />Purchase an island—but a BIG commitment<br />Rent a small starter space—with an advanced avatar <br />Share public meeting spaces—for visits and for meetings <br />Practice building in sandbox areas<br />
    21. 21. Integrating into course<br />Consider all the course objectives; and write these into your syllabus or handouts <br />Task objectives<br />Communication and interaction objectives <br />Metacognitive<br />Affective <br />Don’t shortchange the new technology-enabled learning objectives<br />
    22. 22. Preparing learners<br />Survey to find what prior experience students may have in virtual spaces (; observe students during the virtual icebreaker <br />Establish the communication process—text and/or voice communications <br />Make expectations clear—don’t have them simply wandering in virtual space <br />Develop peer tutors –some students will be more adept<br />
    23. 23. Managing virtual spaces <br />Have multiple meeting times or poll for the best time using<br />Create small group assignments – use Snapshot to document attendance ; Snapshots can be emailed to the instructor<br />Assign individual work and use Snapshots<br />If planning virtual events, give sufficient lead time<br />Record audio ( and video ( – free for limited usage <br />
    24. 24. Assessing the learning in virtual spaces<br />Align the assessment with the objectives associated with SL use<br />Use your own observations and Snapshots & reports submitted by the students to document interactions and outcomes<br />Talk to the learners about how to enhance their experiences<br />
    25. 25. JUST DO IT!The experience will be very worthwhile<br />