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Language Teaching in Second Life Mehmet Sahin Iowa State University.

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1 Language Teaching in Second Life Mehmet Sahin Iowa State University

2 Advantages of virtual worlds flexible applicability creativity accommodating learning preferences enhancing student motivation and engagement facilitating collaboration providing experiential learning opportunities unavailable in traditional learning environments sense of social presence

3 Effective use of SL in teaching other fields business architecture art fashion theatre

4 Lessons learnt - teaching business in SL Careful and time-consuming course preparation Steep learning curve for newbie students The use of this application ignites student interest in the subject matter, but also creates room for pedagogical issues SL gives students a unique immersive perspective on eCommerce and Entrepreneurship Calls for multiple reflective opportunities both on and off the grid Mennecke and Hassall (2007)

5 Language teaching Kamimo Islands Project Second House of Sweden Ecole de Langue Varadi Tibetan language in SL

6 audiovisual components and direct interaction with teachers and other students in social environments such as restaurants, museums and a bus depot task-based and contextual learning (Edgware Marker)

7 Kamimo Islands Project collaborative effort by three universities to create a unique space for research, communication and socialization within Second Life Social English for Doctoral Students “Scandinavians and Balts tend to lose out at international conferences (in terms of being invited onto research teams, having their papers published, etc) because they're a bit shy when they have to make contacts, schmooze and assert themselves in English” (Richardson)

8 Kamimo Islands Project We had our first teaching session on the Oral Production course yesterday evening. There were about 9 students there (some came late …), and we managed to cover quite a lot of ground. The students presented their findings from a week of SL exploration, and they practised being polite and courteous in English. There were one or two who needed help getting their voice chat working, but we managed to get that sorted on the hoof without disrupting the rest of the activities. Immediately after the session, I posted feedback on the course web site and published a podcast about it too, both of which are accessible from the course web site. The facilities worked very well - almost too well, in fact. I'm going to work on small group work between now and next time, so that groups don't disturb each other's work. (Richardson)

9 Swedish Institute One of the instructors in Second House of Sweden says There is a lot of demand for Swedish lessons out there from people who don’t have easy access to such lessons; immersive distance learning works, but the learning curve can be steep; it’s important to have structured lessons; and finally, instead of just asking people to show up, a better model may be to have people apply, and then use Second Life as the immersive aural part of a course, complemented by worksheets and video that they can watch at their leisure. But we’ll see — it certainly is promising to be able to reach people who would otherwise never have any “face time” with a live Swedish teacher.

10 Ecole de Langue Varadi This school is planning to offer 33 foreign languages with a method known as "Around a language in 80 hours", which permits taking a beginner to a general autonomy level in 80 lessons. They will use the same method for the courses delivered through Second Life. The virtual classroom of Ecole Varadi in Second Life is Piazza San Marco in Venice, reproduced with high fidelity.

11 Tibetan Language in SL William Magee in Dharma Drum Buddhist College, has developed digital Tibetan language learning systems on a variety of digital platforms including Second Life. He used three materials in his course: (1) brief audio language-data units accompanied by corresponding text (2) virtual 3-D "primitives" created in Second Life to deliver programmed sound, text, and interaction. (3) machinima video tutorial to provide broad overviews of the content of lessons and specific directions about use.

12 Tibetan Language in SL Magee used machinima assignments as language-learning projects to assess student learning (e.g. two students can collaborate in SL to record a dialogue). Several benefits of creating language programs in Second Life:  Ease of implementation  Situational flexibility  Participant Control  Project-based Testing Metrics.

13 SurReal quests in SL Howard Vickers, the founder of in SL, proposes SurReal quests as a language learning activity in virtual worlds (Vickers, 2007). SurReal quests are adapted from WebQuests to enable learners “to talk with real people in the foreign language to gain specific information and complete real communication within the virtual world”. The aim is to mimic face to face communication, both in terms of the social functions and the information conveying functions, through creating a genuine need to communicate. The quest creates the need to communicate because the learner researches both on the Internet (sources are suggested by the teacher) and within Second Life, allowing personal and immediate knowledge to be gained. The learner edits and crafts the information into the final product: a podcast, video- podcast (vodcast) or text. Select to view examples of learner created podcasts.view examples of learner created podcasts Intended specifically for language education, SurReal Quests (Vickers 2007) combine the social and communicative aspects of Second Life with the wealth of information available on the Web.

14 References The New Media Consortium and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative. (2007). The Horizon Report. Retrieved March 20,2007, from Gee, J. P. (2003). What videogames have to teach us about learning and literacy. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Kirriemuir, J., & McFarlane, A. (2003). Literature review in games and learning. Retrieved August 10, 2006, from Futurelab Web site: Dede, C., Clarke, J., Ketelhut, D., Nelson, B., & Bowman, C. (2005). Fostering motivation, learning, and transfer in multiuser virtual environments. Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association Conference,Montreal. Prensky, M. (2006). Don’t bother me, Mom, I’m learning! : How computer and video games are preparing your kids for 21st century success and how you can help! St. Paul: Paragon House. This entry was posted on Tuesday, September 25th, 2007 at 4:09 pm and is filed under Digital Crossroads, TechOne, PodTech.Digital CrossroadsTechOne PodTech

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