ViTAAL and NIFLAR projects at Slanguages 2009

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My contribution to SLangugages 2009 on the NL project 'ViTAAL' (2008-2009) and the EU project 'NIFLAR' (2009-2011)

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ViTAAL and NIFLAR projects at Slanguages 2009

  1. 1. Ton Koenraad TELLConsult Rounding off: ViTAAL Starting up: NIFLAR
  2. 2. The ViTAAL Project <ul><li>GOAL Researching the contribution of 3d MUVEs to Language Education. Focus on oral skills. </li></ul><ul><li>Joint project: Schools & Teacher Ed. </li></ul>
  3. 3. The ViTAAL Project <ul><li>R & D for 3 Activity Formats: 1. Language Village: training & testing </li></ul><ul><li>2. Interactive narrative: LanguageQuest </li></ul><ul><li>3. Events and Fun Activities </li></ul>
  4. 4. Format 1: Virtual Language Village Pupils <ul><li>Teachers </li></ul><ul><li>Student Teachers & Trainers </li></ul><ul><li>Fellow pupils </li></ul>
  5. 5. IRL, what is Languagevillage | Langueville | Sprachstadt ? <ul><li>RL-simulation with physical props as scenes for everyday communicative situations </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers, native or competent speakers take on roles and/or assess. </li></ul><ul><li>Target group at 2ndary Schools: mostly beginner to intermediate level (CEFR: A1-A2) </li></ul><ul><li>A school-based, yearly event. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Virtual Language Village <ul><li>Rationale: More practice of oral skills for RL language tasks </li></ul><ul><li>Design principles Blended approach: - techer-led f2f sessions & in-world sessions with fellow pupils and student mentors - using additional materials alligned to textbook in use </li></ul><ul><li>- in-world assessment training by student teachers </li></ul>
  7. 7. Virtual Language Village: Organisation <ul><li>Production / Mentor Team A’dam student teachers (n=18) </li></ul><ul><li>Materials: paper based prep. activities, CEF Level A1-A2 194 pp. </li></ul><ul><li>Participants 2 schools, 1 class each Age: 13-14 Student teacher mentored groups (size: n=3) </li></ul>
  8. 8. Virtual Language Village: technical features <ul><li>A variety of locations: tourist info, cafeteria, police station, baker’s, village square, pond, student hang-out, etc.. </li></ul><ul><li>2 bots </li></ul><ul><li>‘ professional’ avatars </li></ul><ul><li>Voice-enabled, but… </li></ul>
  9. 9. Format 2. SurReal Quest: an interactive detective story
  10. 10. The Interactive Quest <ul><li>Rationale: Enhance the WebQuest concept using story development and embedding ‘live’ interaction </li></ul><ul><li>Design principles </li></ul><ul><li>LanguageQuest design criteria </li></ul><ul><li>Competitive pupil teams (n=5) </li></ul><ul><li>teacher-coached f2f team sessions </li></ul><ul><li>in-world meetings with story characters (student mentors) </li></ul><ul><li>assessment of (interim) products by teacher </li></ul>
  11. 11. Interactive LanguageQuest: Organisation <ul><li>Production & Actor Team A’dam student teachers (n=7) </li></ul><ul><li>Materials: - Original storyline, - CEF-based inputs & tasks ( A2 – B1) - specifically designed LQuest template </li></ul><ul><li>Participants - 1 school, 1 class Age: 16-17 - 1st year student teachers (n=7) </li></ul>
  12. 12. Teacher Ed. Curriculum Module <ul><li>Theoretical input: - TBLT & SLA principles - Methodology for oral skills training - Task design principles - CEFR & Assessment: criteria & instruments & procedures </li></ul><ul><li>Practical experiences: - Materials development - Fluency training - Online assessments </li></ul><ul><li>Output - Language Village: Textbook supplementary materials - LanguageQuest - Events: Registration website & self access prep. materials </li></ul>
  13. 13. Evaluation & Research <ul><li>General Focus: Feasibility </li></ul><ul><li>Proof of concept for Learning Blend : learning potential , added value, win-win? </li></ul><ul><li>Mapping of conditions </li></ul><ul><li>Materials & Activity design </li></ul><ul><li>Performance-based assessment </li></ul>
  14. 14. Evaluation: Pupil perspective <ul><li>Interesting, nice change </li></ul><ul><li>Spent more time than usual after school hours </li></ul><ul><li>Learned more: - vocab, - talking about self, ordering things, giving directions </li></ul><ul><li>More awareness of: - relevance of grammar / pronunciation for communication - personal knowledge & skills gaps </li></ul><ul><li>Did and learned equally little as in f2f lessons </li></ul><ul><li>3D world not very inviting (looks, interactive facilities) </li></ul><ul><li>Technical (voice) & organisational problems (partner presence) </li></ul><ul><li>extension of the virtual village needed: a wider variety of shops. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Evaluation: Teacher perspective <ul><li>Pupils enthusiastic, more motivation & time on task, less inhibition </li></ul><ul><li>More authenticity in tasks, language use: attention for accuracy </li></ul><ul><li>More opportunities for differentiation & independent work </li></ul><ul><li>Enjoyed working with new formats </li></ul><ul><li>More class-based preparation time needed for online sessions </li></ul><ul><li>Success factors: - timely delivery & quality of prep materials - operational technology - teacher competences: classroom management, </li></ul><ul><li>ICT-skills </li></ul><ul><li>Allignment of class activities with student mentors agendas </li></ul>
  16. 16. Evaluation: Student teacher perspective <ul><li>Great learning opportunity: - designing materials - getting peer-feedback in design process Practicing interaction & teaching skills: - interlocutor role - giving feedback to pupils - doing assessments </li></ul><ul><li>Design task: very time consuming </li></ul><ul><li>Organisational problems: - pupil presence - teamwork </li></ul><ul><li>Technical issues: - voice - AW- interface skills </li></ul>
  17. 17. Evaluation: Teacher educator perspective <ul><li>Great chance for linking theory to practice </li></ul><ul><li>Implementation of experiential learning in teacher ed. </li></ul><ul><li>Collaboration with schools is vital </li></ul><ul><li>Current module is too demanding: further phasing of curriculum content </li></ul><ul><li>Critical trainer’s skills: - coaching student production teams - personal ICT / AW skills </li></ul>
  18. 18. Issues & constraints <ul><li>Institutional </li></ul><ul><li>Hard & Software: Availability 3d browser, capturing software, headsets, VLE… </li></ul><ul><li>Curriculum embedded activity </li></ul><ul><li>Pedagogy match (staff, materials) </li></ul><ul><li>Virtual World Software </li></ul><ul><li>ICT skills </li></ul>
  19. 19. Future Developments <ul><li>Implementation in partners’ curricula </li></ul><ul><li>Scaling up (languages, formats, sectors) </li></ul><ul><li>Exploitation model (partnership expansion) </li></ul><ul><li>Further research: - Promotion of L2 use? - face & content validity of assessments - pragmatics (teaching & assessing) - SLA? </li></ul>
  20. 20. So much about the ViTAAL Project: any questions / comments? For papers see: www.koenraad.info / vrall
  21. 21. NIFLAR Networked Interaction in Foreign Language Acquisition & Research EU project 2009 – 2011
  22. 22. Partners U. Palacky TELLConsult U. Coimbra Coordinator Affiliate partners : U. Nevsky and Novosibirsk Technical University, U. Concepción, 4 sec. schools
  23. 23. NIFLAR Objectives & ambitions <ul><li>Exploring the added value of video-web communication (VWC) and virtual worlds (VW) to development of communicative and intercultural competence in L2. </li></ul><ul><li>Development of design principles for effective L2 tasks </li></ul><ul><li>Development, application and evaluation of tasks according to the design principles </li></ul><ul><li>Contribute to international research : CMC, ICC, Pragmatics, blended learning </li></ul>
  24. 25. Exploring the added value of VWC and VW <ul><li>Opportunities for real-life and virtual synchronous communication with native speakers of the target language </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunities for creating culture-specific virtual contexts for contextualised communication </li></ul>
  25. 26. Evaluation grid for task design in video-web communication and virtual worlds <ul><li>Design principles: </li></ul><ul><li>For communicative competence in L2 acquisition </li></ul><ul><li>For intercultural competence in L2 acquisition </li></ul><ul><li>For the application of VWC and VW in L2 acquisition </li></ul>
  26. 27. Video conferencing: ADOBE CONNECT
  27. 28. Design principles for the application of Video Web Communication <ul><li>Video-web communication: </li></ul><ul><li>Personal contact is relevant </li></ul><ul><li>Nonverbal interaction is relevant </li></ul><ul><li>Only communication partners are present </li></ul><ul><li>Visual context outside communication partners is irrelevant </li></ul>
  28. 29. Voice-enabled 3D World
  29. 30. Design principles for the application of 3D Virtual Worlds <ul><li>Virtual worlds: </li></ul><ul><li>Visual context around communication partners is relevant </li></ul><ul><li>Context is specifically created or applied for context-specific conversation topics </li></ul><ul><li>As in real-life, others might interfere </li></ul><ul><li>Contexts might be adapted (simplified, exaggerated) in order to promote awareness and learning </li></ul>
  30. 31. Interaction focused on students <ul><li>Two target groups: </li></ul><ul><li>Foreign language learners of Dutch, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish (also at secondary level) </li></ul><ul><li>Pre-service teachers of Dutch, Russian and Spanish </li></ul>
  31. 34. Importance of adequate tasks <ul><li>Characteristics of appropriate tasks for virtual interaction </li></ul><ul><li>Standardised format </li></ul><ul><li>Level (CEFR) </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers and pre-service teachers designing, piloting and adapting tasks </li></ul>
  32. 35. Research Focus <ul><li>Interactions: Conferencing & 3D </li></ul><ul><li>Tasks </li></ul><ul><li>Specific aspects: ICC, pragmatics, negotiation of meaning </li></ul>
  33. 36. Deliverables <ul><li>A framework for task design </li></ul><ul><li>A collection of tasks and scenarios </li></ul><ul><li>Guides for: Teachers, Teacher Educators & CMC research </li></ul><ul><li>A 3D world & facilities for its future exploitation </li></ul><ul><li>Master theses, publications, conference presentations </li></ul><ul><li>Dissemination website </li></ul>
  34. 37. Thank you Any questions or Comments? Ton Koenraad TELLConsult www.niflar.eu

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