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Give your Language Class a Second Life


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This is a presentation I gave at the 2009 Northeast Conference for Teachers of Foreign Languages (NECTFL) in NYC. The topic was how to use virtual worlds in foreign language education.

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Give your Language Class a Second Life

  1. 1. Give Your Language Class a SecondLife<br />Edo Forsythe<br />National Cryptologic School<br /><br />Avatar: IwakihiroRozensztok<br />
  2. 2. What’ll we do today?<br /><ul><li> Audience Pulse Check
  3. 3. What is SecondLife?
  4. 4. Ideas for Including SL in your Curricula
  5. 5. Sharing of Your Ideas and Experiences
  6. 6. Q&A</li></li></ul><li>What do you know about SecondLife?<br />Who has been in-world before? Often? Once or twice?<br />Who’s here to see what SL & virtual worlds are all about?<br />Who uses SL in their language classes already?<br />Audience Pulse Check<br />Let’s tailor our session to YOUR needs!<br />
  7. 7. Newcomers to SecondLife<br />Go to and click on the link to join.<br />
  8. 8. High-speed Internet connection<br />Cable / DSL or Broadband<br />New-ish Computer<br />Any computer 3-yrs old or less should have no problems; for older systems, the processor & video card are key for enjoyable experience in-world<br />Works on both PC and Mac<br />Check out for specific details<br />What do you need?<br />
  9. 9. Download the program (free!)<br />
  10. 10. Create an Avatar and join the fun<br />You can change your appearance later on!<br />
  11. 11. Meet IwakihiroRozensztok<br />
  12. 12. Plenty of Support is there for You<br />
  13. 13. You know what it is, so how can you use SecondLife in your language curricula?<br />Tips for in-world activities are included in your handout<br />
  14. 14. Oddball Writing Activities<br />There are thousands of locations in SL and each one can be a learning experience. I found this unusual scene while exploring SL one day. <br />My first thought was that I can have my students search out unusual things in SL and write about them in their target language.<br />
  15. 15. Scavenger Hunts<br />Students can explore the whole world from in front of their computer: Moscow’s Red Square, a Day-of-the-Dead celebration, the White House, and much more. One easy activity is a scavenger hunt. In the Russian Archipelago, I found a sign inviting people to a wedding and touching it transports people (if they desire) to a Russian wedding office (the official place of legal weddings which also provide small parties for a price). The clue I gave for this location was “find a place where people’s lives are bound together and follow the link to join the party” (in Russian, of course). <br />
  16. 16. SL Pre-lesson Activities <br />Before introducing a new idea or bit of culturally relevant information to the class, you can sometimes send them into SL to explore the virtual version of the topic. The wedding invitation mentioned above can also be used to get students thinking about how different weddings are in different countries. <br />
  17. 17. Content-based SL Tasks<br />Some sites within SL have been created with the intent of providing an educational experience. After some exploration by teachers, students can be sent to these places for content-based learning. <br />
  18. 18. Teen SecondLife<br />Separate area for teens (made for teens 13 – 17 years old)<br /> Safe and secure environment without adult content <br />Teachers can also gain access to Teen SL<br /> (must have own private island)<br />Check out<br />
  19. 19. How have you given your classes a SecondLife?<br />
  20. 20. Questions or Comments?<br />Contact me with questions or for copies of this presentation: Edo Forsythe ( or in-world as IwakihiroRozensztok<br />Join us for a SecondLife-based Education Conference in May!<br />