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Virtual world language learning

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Virtual world language learning

  1. 1. Dr. Abdelfattah Adel 2
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  8. 8. • Second Life is the dominant 3D virtual world on the Web.• In Second Life there are thousands of simultaneous users who interact with one another in the guise of a chosen character or avatar. Dr. Abdelfattah Adel 10
  9. 9. • Second Life has parks, shops, schools, museums, islands and beaches, all designed and maintained by the virtual residents.• It is also supported by an economy and a virtual currency. You can buy virtual land, build a virtual house and fill it with virtual furniture. Dr. Abdelfattah Adel 11
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  16. 16. • Virtual worlds are playing an increasingly important role in education, especially in language learning.• By March 2007 it was estimated that over 200 universities or academic institutions were involved in Second Life . Dr. Abdelfattah Adel 19
  17. 17. • Joe Miller, Linden Lab Vice President of Platform and Technology Development, claimed in 2009 that "Language learning is the most common education-based activity in Second Life". Dr. Abdelfattah Adel 20
  18. 18. • Many mainstream language institutes and private language schools are now using 3D virtual environments to support language learning. Dr. Abdelfattah Adel 21
  19. 19. • Virtual worlds are used for the immersive, collaborative and task-based, game-like opportunities they offer language learners.• As such, virtual world language learning can be considered to offer distinct learning experiences. Dr. Abdelfattah Adel 22
  20. 20. • Immersive: Immersive experiences draw on the ability to be surrounded by a certain (real or fictitious) environment that can stimulate language learning.• Social: Almost all 3D virtual spaces are inherently social environments where language learners can meet others, either to informally practice a language or to participate in more formal classes.• Creative: A less-developed approach to language learning in virtual worlds is that of constructing objects as part of a language learning activity. Dr. Abdelfattah Adel 23
  21. 21. • The “Six learnings framework” is a pedagogical outline developed for virtual world education in general. It sets out six possible ways to view an educational activity. Dr. Abdelfattah Adel 24
  22. 22. 1. Exploring: learners explore a virtual world’s locations and communities as fieldwork for class.2. Collaborating: learners work together within a virtual world on collaborative tasks.3. Being: learners explore themselves and their identity through their presence in a virtual world, such as through role-play.4. Building: learners construct objects within a virtual world.5. Championing: learners promote real life causes through activities and presentations in a virtual world.6. Expressing: learners represent activities within a virtual world to the outside world, through blogs, podcasts, presentations and videos. Dr. Abdelfattah Adel 25
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  29. 29. • Some language schools offer a complete language learning environment through a virtual world, e.g. Languagelab.com and Avatar Languages Dr. Abdelfattah Adel 32
  30. 30. • The British Council: The British Council has been teaching English in its restricted Second Life for Teens location for several years. Visit the British Council Isle in Second Life and try your hand at the challenging quests. Dr. Abdelfattah Adel 33
  31. 31. • Edunation Islands: An area in Second Life that focuses on the potential for virtual worlds to enhance the language learning process. Dr. Abdelfattah Adel 34
  32. 32. • LanguageLab: Learn English online in Second Life.• TESOL Electronic Village Online (EVO): A professional development project and virtual extension of the TESOL Convention. TESOL EVO offers workshops on teaching in Second Life. Dr. Abdelfattah Adel 35
  33. 33. • Language teachers are discovering a variety of different ways in which Second Life can be used in language learning and teaching, for example:• Simulations of real • Virtual tourism countries • Autonomous learning• Scavenger hunts • Tandem learning• Task-based learning • Voice chat• Language villages• Virtual classrooms Dr. Abdelfattah Adel 36
  34. 34. • Simulations of real countries: There are many simulations in Second Life that reflect the physical appearance and culture of real countries.• Scavenger hunts , the teacher can ask learners to search for an object that reflects the culture of a specific country, take a snapshot of it and write an accompanying textual description either in their own language or in the language that they are studying. Dr. Abdelfattah Adel 37
  35. 35. • Task-based learning: It is possible to set up tasks in Second Life that simulate tasks that could be set up in a real classroom. Dr. Abdelfattah Adel 38
  36. 36. • Task-based learning: For example, a class of students could be divided into groups, with each group given the task of setting a small dinner table for invited guests. The students pick up items of food from a large central table and transfer (or rather copy) them to each of the guests dinner tables. In doing so they learn the names of the items of food, how to understand instructions, use of verbs and prepositions of location and placement, etc. At the same time they also learn SL basics such as how copy and place an item, and use a great deal of language in the process of collaborating with one another. Dr. Abdelfattah Adel 39
  37. 37. • WebQuests: Learners develop texts, audios or podcasts based on their research, part of which is within a virtual world.• Language villages: The concept of real-life language villages has been replicated within virtual worlds to create a language immersion environment for language learners in their own country.• Virtual classrooms: A virtual classroom in SL sets itself apart from other virtual classrooms in that an ordinary classroom is the place to learn a language whereas the SL virtual classroom is the place to practise a language. Dr. Abdelfattah Adel 40
  38. 38. • Virtual tourism: Language learning can take place in public spaces within virtual worlds. This offers greater flexibility with locations and students can choose the locations themselves, which enables a more constructivist approach.• Autonomous learning: Virtual worlds offer exceptional opportunities for autonomous learning.• Tandem learning This form of learning involves two people with different native languages working together as a pair in order to help one another to improve their language skills.• Voice chat: Second Lifes current internal voice system has the added ability to reproduce the effect of distance on voice loudness, so that there is an auditory sense of space amongst users. Dr. Abdelfattah Adel 41
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