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Using Second Life in Foreign Language Instruction-practical advice

Using Second Life in Foreign Language Instruction-practical advice



Additional references: ...

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.



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  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
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  • @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 eileen.oconnor@esc.edu and I can send you more info about using these new and wonderful tools
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  • 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?
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  • 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 Using Second Life in Foreign Language Instruction-practical advice Presentation Transcript

  • Using Virtual Spaces (such as Second Life) in Language Education: Why and How To Get Started
    Introductory practical advice from Dr. Eileen O’Connor
    Empire State College / State University of NY, USA
    Presented at: 4th International Scientific and Methodological Conference on:
    Information and Communication Technologies in Foreign Language Teaching
    at Moscow State University
  • Agenda
    Overview of key uses of virtual spaces
    Images of Second Life (SL) usage by O’Connor
    Ideas for bringing language education in virtual space
    Practical /exploratory ways to get started – with minimal startup and support
    See companion paper submitted to the conference for more details & for expanded bibliography
  • What is a virtual learning environment?
    Three-dimensional visual backgrounds
    Individuals work at their computers and operate an avatar (a human personification that the individual creates)
    Depending on the design and purpose, any number of scenarios and interactions can be created—you develop your own world
    Examples & illustrations will follow
  • Key applications & findings
    Distance is not a problem; more realistic and immersive than online – students get to see their colleagues
    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
    Educators can meet and discuss teaching & learning
    The use of avatars can make students more comfortable with communication, very important with language instruction
  • Create simple working spaces for students (such as this MAT Science Center)
  • Have class presentations – PowerPoint gone virtual
  • Meet across distance, such as this meeting with the Dean
  • Bring in guest lecturers – again, crossing the barriers of geography
  • Attend professional meetings– such as this NASA/NSF meeting for science education
  • Experience simulations, such as this virtual, but actual, weather
  • Or re-create a tsunami at this NOAA site
  • Best expressed through an instructional metaphor: like designing an intelligent experience (field trip / discussions / role playing / construction) . . . with an assessment
    More advanced uses
  • Considering applications of Second Life to language learning
  • Second Life (SL): virtual worlds for teaching language skills
    International meeting area—enhances the cultural aspects of the target language
    Communication with native speakers in SL – with text chatting and with voice
    Networking locations for language educators
    Opportunities for language role playing and practice
    Students may be more comfortable practicing language through an avatar
    http://www.slideshare.net/AvatarLanguages.com/language-learning-in-second-life - shows a current application
    http://sites.wiki.ubc.ca/etec510/Language_Learning_in_Second_Life -- provides general application
  • Visit cultural
  • And man-made wonders
  • How can you learn to use these Second Life features?
  • Getting started yourself
    Get the free download (www.secondlife.com) then explore and test
    Consider ways you might work; find existing organizations (use Search in SL)
    Join an education listserv; find more information at http://wiki.secondlife.com
    See more details in the paper associated with this presentation
  • Marshalling support & locations
    Find where you have support –from administration and from technology staff
    but you can work on a basic level without such support
    Look for places where you might work
    Purchase an island—but a BIG commitment
    Rent a small starter space—with an advanced avatar
    Share public meeting spaces—for visits and for meetings
    Practice building in sandbox areas
  • Integrating into course
    Consider all the course objectives; and write these into your syllabus or handouts
    Task objectives
    Communication and interaction objectives
    Don’t shortchange the new technology-enabled learning objectives
  • Preparing learners
    Survey to find what prior experience students may have in virtual spaces (www.surveymonkey.com); observe students during the virtual icebreaker
    Establish the communication process—text and/or voice communications
    Make expectations clear—don’t have them simply wandering in virtual space
    Develop peer tutors –some students will be more adept
  • Managing virtual spaces
    Have multiple meeting times or poll for the best time using www.doodle.com
    Create small group assignments – use Snapshot to document attendance ; Snapshots can be emailed to the instructor
    Assign individual work and use Snapshots
    If planning virtual events, give sufficient lead time
    Record audio (www.audacity.com) and video (www.fraps.com) – free for limited usage
  • Assessing the learning in virtual spaces
    Align the assessment with the objectives associated with SL use
    Use your own observations and Snapshots & reports submitted by the students to document interactions and outcomes
    Talk to the learners about how to enhance their experiences
  • JUST DO IT!The experience will be very worthwhile