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Teaching EFL in SL Wlodek Barbosa (Virtlantis, the island of Knowingly in Second Life) Włodzimierz Sobkowiak (School of English, Adam Mickiewicz University,

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Presentation on theme: "Teaching EFL in SL Wlodek Barbosa (Virtlantis, the island of Knowingly in Second Life) Włodzimierz Sobkowiak (School of English, Adam Mickiewicz University,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Teaching EFL in SL Wlodek Barbosa (Virtlantis, the island of Knowingly in Second Life) Włodzimierz Sobkowiak (School of English, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań, Poland)

2 Abstract As Wlodek Barbosa I've been teaching EFL pronunciation in Second Life now for over three years as a free and open service to the community of language students and teachers called Virtlantis, currently located on the island of Knowingly in-world. This is a talk about this experience. I focus on:Virtlantis More info: The added value of SL in language teachingThe added value of SL in language teaching The dynamics and social networking of the learner communityThe dynamics and social networking of the learner community

3 My teaching in SL (1) March 21st born in SL as Wlodek Barbosa Started teaching pronunciation regularly in the community on Sep 10th weekly meetings of [Pronunciation with Wlodek Barbosa] so far 166 unique students over the 133 meetings, average students per meeting: 6.2 Students from all over the world, e.g. German, Israeli, Italian, Russian, French, Korean, Pakistani, Roumanian, Brazilian, Finnish, UAE, Turkish, and Polish (of course) No syllabus, no textbook, no homework

4 My teaching in SL (2) Practically all EFL phonetic areas covered: segments, juncture, prosody, graphophonemics Various resources in SL: word-lists, texts, PAVed objects, sound files, problem notecards Various resources on 2d web: dictionaries, videos, recordings, charts, animations Various techniques: lecture, drill, projects, guided tours, treasure hunts, conversation, pair-work, group-work SL community support: in-world group for info notices and IM 2d web community support: Ning, Elgg, Facebook (blogging, resources, records)

5 The added value of SL in language teaching Better than RL Better than 2d web Better than RL AND 2d web ?

6 Better than 2d web (1) Some examples of added value of SL vis-à-vis 2d web (LMS, VLE such as e.g. Moodle) have been discussed widely: immersion, embodied (co-)presence 3d, holodecks construction/building geospacial replicas of RL places self-creation (avatar persona)

7 Better than 2d web (2) Communication outside of the classroom in-world; Dolce Vita in SL on Feb 5th 2011, WB as his female alt One_Avatar: salut One_Avatar: ca va? WB: Ca va, merci :-) Et vous? One_Avatar: merci aussi One_Avatar: tu veux dancer ? WB: Non, merci :-) One_Avatar: uhh dommage WB: Un autre fois, peut-etre? One_Avatar: ok One_Avatar: pas probleme

8 Better than RL (1) Multitasking and multichanneling: environment, visuals, voice chat, text chat, IM (private and group), notecards, profile-reading. This is a pedagogically excellent affordance, making for intense, authentic, immediate communication.

9 Better than RL (2) aaaaaaah, ok hm, i`m not sure ok see you kip, and thank you thanks :) to call someone? to leave something, a taxi for example Example: text chat log of a Virtlantis lesson on phrasal verbs, 13 July 2007; contribution of one avatar extracted from chat log and alphabetized.

10 Better than RL AND 2d web (1) Phonetically Augmented Virtuality (PAV) refers to enhancing a 3d virtual world with phonetic information in the form of sound files, text-to-speech synthesis, phonetic transcription, explanatory text, as well as exercises and tasks of all kinds. This phonetic information is built directly into objects in the virtual environment and can be interactively accessed by the student's avatar.

11 Better than RL AND 2d web (2) I have presented and discussed PAV in other places: Phonetic Affordances of Second Life for EFL, a PresTo presentation on YouTube and on blip.tvYouTubeblip.tv Phonetically Augmented Virtuality in Second Life (a plenary presentation at the 3rd International Accents Conference in 2009; PowerPoint intro here)Phonetically Augmented Virtuality in Second Life here

12 The dynamics and social networking of the learner community Fluidity of the student population: regulars, strangers, observers, mutes, trolls, griefers, lost avies, non-humansFluidity of the student population: regulars, strangers, observers, mutes, trolls, griefers, lost avies, non-humans Gartner's hype cycle dynamics of SL; community promotionGartner's hype cycle dynamics of SL; community promotionGartner's hype cycleGartner's hype cycle The founder, facilitator & spiritus movens : Kip YellowjacketThe founder, facilitator & spiritus movens : Kip YellowjacketKip YellowjacketKip Yellowjacket Environment: various sims in-world and 2d websitesEnvironment: various sims in-world and 2d websites

13 The pedagogical role of presence/ immersion in the virtual world (1) The Resident is an individual who lives a percentage of their life online. The web supports the projection of their identity and facilitates relationships. [...] The Visitor is an individual who uses the web as a tool in an organised manner whenever the need arises. [...] They [...] don't feel the need to express themselves by participating in online culture in the same manner as a Resident.

14 The pedagogical role of presence/ immersion in the virtual world (2) If your learners are mainly Visitors, [...] they are unlikely to blog or comment as part of a course. The Resident will expect to have the opportunity to offer opinions on topics and to socialise around a programme of study. David White: Not Digital 'Natives' & 'Immigrants' but 'Visitors' & 'Residents’ (http://oupeltglobalblog.com/2011/06/14/ not-digital-natives-immigrants-but- visitors-residents/) not-digital-natives-immigrants-but- visitors-residents/http://oupeltglobalblog.com/2011/06/14/ not-digital-natives-immigrants-but- visitors-residents/

15 Virtlantis learner community: resident's reflections Facebook interview with MZ, an active Virtlantis student of English, native German: the changes of the community we followed the learners where they are - on FB we interact with each other help each other - off the class - online - not ONLY in-world in posting i discover new vocab...investigate idioms try to phrase my native language into english I met there lots of Gleichgesinnte people who want to learn a language we know...we are not always right the co-community members they are all open minded not pointing on a mistake or failure

16 Conclusions The keys to success in foreign language teaching & learning in SL are: exploiting of the added value of SL vis-à-vis RL and 2d webexploiting of the added value of SL vis-à-vis RL and 2d web stimulating immersion, presence, ‘flow’stimulating immersion, presence, ‘flow’ leveraging the learner communityleveraging the learner community

17 Thank you!


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