VirtualQuests: Dialogic Language Learning with 3D Virtual Worlds

The online journal “CORELL” (Computer Resources for Lang...
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Virtual quests dialogic language learning with 3d virtual worlds

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The incorporation of 3D virtual worlds into WebQuests offers a more exploratory approach to language learning, where the learner engages in social, immersive and creative activities as part of the quest’s research. This experiential learning leads the teacher to play a greater facilitator-role and to focus more on responding to students’ needs, and less on preemptively teaching. Dogme language teaching, with its focus on dialogic learning and emergent pedagogy, offers guidance in drawing on virtual world experiences for language classes.

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Virtual quests dialogic language learning with 3d virtual worlds

  1. 1. VirtualQuests: Dialogic Language Learning with 3D Virtual Worlds The online journal “CORELL” (Computer Resources for Language Learning) recently published an article I wrote on using a Dogme approach with WebQuests in Second Life or other 3D virtual worlds. The article looks at how the WebQuest model can be used with 3D virtual worlds to enable language learning that is exploratory, social and creative. It looks at how a Dogme approach can help teachers draw upon the 3D experiences for class-based work. The paper also considers how this “VirtualQuest” model shares common ground with simulations (unscripted role-plays) and that this naturally leads to a focus on fluency and “whole-task practice” (Littlewood 1981). VirtualQuests offer scope for more relevant (and therefore more motivating) activities because the student has considerable choice in the quest’s design and implementation. This approach therefore also requires (and develops) greater autonomy on the part of the learner. Here is the abstract… The incorporation of 3D virtual worlds into WebQuests offers a more exploratory approach to language learning, where the learner engages in social, immersive and creative activities as part of the quest’s research. This experiential learning leads the teacher to play a greater facilitator-role and to focus more on responding to students’ needs, and less on preemptively teaching. Dogme language teaching, with its focus on dialogic learning and emergent pedagogy, offers guidance in drawing on virtual world experiences for language classes. And introduction… The WebQuest model offers an inquiry based learning approach where much of the research takes place online (Dodge 1997). As such, WebQuests are a task-based method where learners are guided through the use of the web to discover and explore a topic. LanguageQuests adopt this model to more specifically reflect the needs of language learners. This article explores how the LanguageQuest model can be further adapted to take advantage of the exploratory and experiential learning opportunities available in virtual worlds. The incorporation of 3D virtual worlds into inquiry based learning models changes the nature of the learning experiences and necessitates a less structured style of teaching than normally used with task-based or quest-based learning activities. Dialogic approaches to language teaching, such as Dogme, are especially relevant for helping teachers to draw upon virtual world experiences for the language learning opportunities that emerge. The full article is available online at http://www.ucam.edu/corell/issues/Vickers.pdf http://www.avatarlanguages.com/blog/virtualquest-article/

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