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Second Life &Task-Based Language Learning

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Presentation on theme: "Second Life &Task-Based Language Learning"— 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 ;-) R

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) R

4 Key Characteristics of Tasks (Skehan, 1998, cited in Nunan, 2004, p. 3)
Meaning is primary Learners are not given other people’s 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 R

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) U MARKEE: an analytic approach to syllabus design and methodology in which chains of information-gathering, problem-solving and evaluative tasks are used to organize language teaching and learning; these interdependent pedagogical tasks, which combine insights from sociolinguistic and psycholinguistic research, are designed to methodologically simulate the communicative events which learners encounter in specific second language-using environments (Markee, 1994a) A task-based approach sees the language process as one of learning through doing--- it is primarily engaging in meaning that the learner’s system is encouraged to develop (Long & Crooks, 1993) … interdependent pedagogical tasks … designed to methodologically simulate the communicative events which learners encounter in specific second language-using environments (Markee, 1994a) an activity in which the target language is used by the learner for a communicative purpose in order to achieve an outcome (Willis, 1996)

6 Learn language by doing things Experiential Learning Learner Centered
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” U

7 Task Examples Tasks Pedagogical 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 U

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) U “Task-based teaching offers the opportunity for ‘natural’ learning inside the classroom” Natural learning will take place even outside of the classroom too.

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. R 9

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 R 10

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 R

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) R

13 Why TBLTvia 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) U

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 U

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 R

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 R

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

18 Tasks: Orientation Overview & practice of common SL personal tasks
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 R

19 Tasks: Scavenger Hunt Orientation 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 R For this hunt you must find some places in Second Life that I describe in "The Scavenger Hunt!" notecard. These include places for art, free things, historical places, nature sites, and education sites. At each place I ask you to do something to show that you were there. For each of these places, you will put the answers on a new notecard. Call it "Scavenger Hunt--"insert your names here." 1. Number your answers in the notecard in the same way you will see in the "Scavenger Hunt!" notecard (1. Art in SL, etc.) 2. For each number, put in the answer, photo, or landmark for your answer. 3. When you finish, place the notecard in Randall Renoir's mail box, located on his house below the "Renoir's Roost" sign: The winning group will be the one that gets the most points--each correct answer is worth 10 points. That winning team will get a prize! ==HOWEVER== 1. The group that finishes the fastest gets 10 bonus points 2. For some of the questions you have a choice. If a group does finds both places they will get extra points. _____________________________________________ RULES: 1. You should work on this project with a partner. 2. Any pictures you take must include both you and your partner. 3. Your answers should be turned in on a notecard. The name of the notecard should be: "Scavenger Hunt !--insert your names here" 4. If you get stuck, you can me for a hint....but I won't just give you the answer! ;-) Good luck!

20 Tasks: Must work in groups to complete hunt tasks: Scavenger Hunt II
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 skills—Ellis) R

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

22 Sample from previous builds: Table

23 Sample: Sofa R

24 Doghouse R

25 Supervan—the plaid version

26 The public, public bathroom

27 Tasks: The Build II Orientation Scavenger Hunt Travel Guide
Orienteering Requirements Reasoning Decision Making/Consensus Problem solving Opinion exchange Oral/chat exchanges Written descriptions Language & Grammar R TBLT items this would include Opinion Gap Reasoning Gap Personal Tasks Role play tasks Jigsaw Problem Solving Decision Making Opinion Exchange

28 Some Verbs and Adjectives for the building task
Making & Selecting Changing Movement Adjectives SL editing window Create Expand Move Long Tab Build Shrink Life Short Axis (X,Y,Z) Rezz Stretch Raise Small Position Duplicate Lower Large Size Click Color Slide Square Texture Right-click Push Flat Transparent Select Attach Pull Thin Edit Link Put Thick Choose Connect Rotate U

29 Prepositions of location from:

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

31 Demo of a building task R

32 Extensions Build some historical artifact
Write directions for someone to re-create Write a “history” for that creation Build a space for a group—class exchange Negotiate look, furnishings Purpose? Info from countries? Authors/history from countries? R Could show them my pyramid or rocky temple?

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?? R Pay particular attention to some of the buzzwords they used in the literature.

34 Thanks! For a copy of the presentation and a full list of references, you can go to Randall’s webpage (in a couple days!): R & U

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