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Second Life & Task-Based Language Learning Randall Sadler, Ulugbek Nurmukhamedov, & Susan Fassler.

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Presentation on theme: "Second Life & Task-Based Language Learning Randall Sadler, Ulugbek Nurmukhamedov, & Susan Fassler."— Presentation transcript:

1 Second Life & Task-Based Language Learning Randall Sadler, Ulugbek Nurmukhamedov, & Susan Fassler

2 Overview of Presentation Introductions (right now!) Quick overview of study What is TBLT? What is Second Life? The study Demo The results The end ;-)

3 What is a Task? …a pedagogical task is a piece of classroom work that involves learners in comprehending, manipulating, producing or interacting in the target language while their attention is focused on mobilizing their grammatical knowledge in order to express meaning…. (Nunan, 2004, p. 4) …a piece of work undertaken for oneself or for others, freely or for some reward. (Long, 1985)

4 Key Characteristics of Tasks (Skehan, 1998, cited in Nunan, 2004, p. 3) Meaning is primary Learners are not given other peoples meaning to regurgitate There is some sort of relationship to comparable real-world activities. Task completion has some priority The assessment of the task is in terms of the outcome

5 TBLT: Definitions …aims at proving opportunities for the learners to experiment with and explore both spoken and written language through learning activities which are designed to engage learners in the authentic, practical and functional use of language for meaningful purposes. (Nunan, 1999) approach to teaching a second/foreign language that seeks to engage learners in interactionally authentic language use by having them perform a series of tasks (Ellis, 2003)

6 Key ideas in TBLT Learn language by doing things Experiential Learning Learner Centered Meaning is primary Could be written or oral Connection to the real world

7 Task Examples Tasks painting a fence buying a pair of shoes making an airline reservation borrowing a library book taking a driving test typing a letter weighing a patient taking a hotel reservation finding a street destination, etc. (Long, 85) Pedagogical Tasks Information Gap Opinion Gap Reasoning Gap Personal Tasks Role play tasks Jigsaw Problem Solving Decision Making Opinion Exchange

8 Why TBLT? …offers the opportunity for natural learning inside the classroom (Ellis, 2003)...well-designed and implemented tasks can engage learners in meaningful interaction and...negotiation can occur through these interactions (Pica, 1994). It is intrinsically motivating (Ellis, 2003) It emphasizes meaning over form but can also cater for learning form (Ellis, 2003)

9 What is a virtual world? …an online environment Avatars representing real people Real time communication via text and/or voice Typically control own appearance: gender, shape, clothing, species? May have control over environment May be similar or nearly identical to real world …Or may allow users to fly, teleport, or build a home floating 200 meters above the ground.

10 About Second Life (most from Gronstedt, 2007) ~1.5 million logged in over last 60 days 54,000 logged in 1pm Saturday. 60 % users European (Germans outnumber Americans) 16 % from U.S. 13 % from Asia. 60 % men 40 % women 20% of F avatars are RL M Almost all M avatars are RL M. average age: 30s. What you see….is created primarily by users

11 What can you do there? Explore Shop Dance Make money … also a great place to learn languages Many language schools, millions to practice with Text chat, oral chat, nonverbal communication

12 Theoretical Foundations for TBLT Experiential & Social Learning: (Dewey, 1916), (Kilpatrick, 1918) Sociocultural Theory, Negotiation, Zone of Proximal Development: Vygotsky Constructivist Theory (Piaget, 1967) Interaction Hypothesis (Long & Robinson,1998) Negotiation Model (Doughty, 2000)

13 Why TBLT via CALL? CMC interaction creates less threatening and less stressful environment (Smith, 2003) Simulations... [allow] students to be immersed and actively involved in an environment that is not otherwise accessible (González-Lloret, 2003, citing 3 others) …successful implementation of computer- based, interactive, communicative tasks can yield numerous benefits for L2 Learners (de la Fuente, 2003, citing 12 others)

14 A few Studies with TBLT & CALL González-Lloret. (2003): 3-D environment Zähner, Fauverge, & Wong (2000): Audiovisual networks Müller-Hartmann (2000): Linder & Rochon (2003): text chat, MOO Blake (2000): text chat Smith. (2005): text chat Oscoz (2003): text chat Shamsudin. (2003): Microsoft Netmeeting

15 Motivation for the Study: Applying tasks in 3D environment of Second Life Preparing students communicative competence before they go to real life Building confidence in students language use Exploring task building possibilities in Second Life and integrating them to task-based curriculum Researching how the use of SL might help tasks and TBLT become more real and more interesting to language learners

16 Settings and Participants RL Setting A large MW Univ. Intensive English Institute (UIUC) MA TESOL program Virtual Setting Second Life various locations Participants 10 ESL students Language backgrounds: Arabic, Turkish, Korean, Thai, Chinese Language Proficiency upper intermediate 23 MA TESOL ss Language backgrounds: a lot Language Proficiency: from NS to near NS

17 Data collection Pre and Post Questionnairesexperience, attitudes, etc. Participant Journals & Interviews Tasks Completed objects Written products via notecards Written products via other sources Videos of task activities

18 Tasks: Orientation Scavenger Hunt The Build Travel Guide Orienteering Overview & practice of common SL personal tasks Walk around (harder than you might think!) Fly Work with your inventory Change appearance Teleport Set landmarks

19 Tasks: Orientation Scavenger Hunt The Build Travel Guide Orienteering Intro to common SL tasks use your inventory move around in SL "buy" things teleport take pictures set landmarks make and use notecards Intro to useful areas: museums, freebies, nature, history, language learning

20 Tasks: Orientation Scavenger Hunt II The Build Travel Guide Orienteering Must work in groups to complete hunt tasks: Group turns in written notecards with written answers, but also require: Oral communication Text chat Group decision making (integrative skillsEllis)

21 Tasks: Orientation Scavenger Hunt The Build Travel Guide Orienteering 1. Building tutorial 2. Build something in a group 3. Write instructions to recreate your build 4. Another group gets notes, attempts to recreate 5. Prizes for best build, best recreation

22 Sample from previous builds: Table

23 Sample: Sofa

24 Doghouse

25 Supervanthe plaid version

26 The public, public bathroom

27 Tasks: Orientation Scavenger Hunt The Build II Travel Guide Orienteering Requirements Reasoning Decision Making/Consensus Problem solving Opinion exchange Oral/chat exchanges Written descriptions Language & Grammar

28 Some Verbs and Adjectives for the building task Making & Selecting ChangingMovementAdjectivesSL editing window CreateExpandMoveLongTab BuildShrinkLifeShortAxis (X,Y,Z) RezzStretchRaiseSmallPosition DuplicateLowerLargeSize ClickColorSlideSquareTexture Right-clickPushFlatTransparent SelectAttachPullThin EditLinkPutThick ChooseConnectRotate

29 Prepositions of location from:

30 Other vocabulary Shapes Colors Textures Sizes, measurements Angles Relative positions Conditionals ??

31 Demo of a building task

32 Extensions Build some historical artifact Write directions for someone to re-create Write a history for that creation Build a space for a groupclass exchange Negotiate look, furnishings Purpose? Info from countries? Authors/history from countries?

33 Preliminary Results TBLT in SL--yes Maintaining motivation Get physical Learner background differences RL pedagogy may not transfer to VWs Importance of task design Importance of student responsibility Technical issues…the best of times??

34 Thanks! For a copy of the presentation and a full list of references, you can go to Randalls webpage (in a couple days!):

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