second life by Q704lFC


									          Piccolo Mondo:
Virtual worlds for language learning:
        a look at Second Life

     Kate Borthwick and Ann Jeffery,
       University of Southampton
           Session outline
• What is Second Life?
• Our interest in Second Life for language
• How we got started in SL
• Benefits and barriers
• Demo
         What is Second Life?
•   Virtual, 3-D world
•   More than 2,700,000 people registered
•   Social networking service
•   Rich environment
•   Free, but a cost for building/owning land
   Our interest in SL for language
• Users can create content for others to
  access and use
• Over 100 ‘islands’ created for educational
• Research at an early stage
• General potential for language learning
         La mia seconda vita
• My perspective of the adult learner
• 2 main difficulties :
  – getting to classes
  – Practising Italian conversation
• Wanted to explore SL community
  – What were SL communities actually like?
  – Were there other language learners?
  – Would it help me to learn Italian?
• Short overview of my experience
                   Starting out
• Choose your name from:
  – A Linden surname and a personal forename
  – This affects how people respond to you
  – My Italian name means Italian people speak to me
• Create a basic avatar
• Learn the essential movement controls
• You decide how you want to look.
     • Red hair because it often gets a ‘bad press’, green eyes
       because I could
     • Unusual combination in SL, gets attention!
              Growing up
• Overcome shyness, reserve, gain
• SL can be a real social leveller
• I found friendly, helpful people who have
  actively helped out
• Friends from across the world, across
  different time zones.
                 Learning Italian

So how has Second Life helped me with my Italian?
            My experience
• In 4 days, I needed to extend my
  vocabulary etc.
• Dictionaries, verb tables and grammar
• Translating songs, making jokes, cultural
  concepts, phrases and sayings.
• Now faster with fewer mistakes
        Teacher’s perspective
    Mettiamo i mobili? A learning activity
• Uses the culture of SL
• Having land and creating a home
  • Students create a personal space,
  • Choose and move their furniture
• Could support language learning functions:
  • Learn directions, position and types of furniture.
• Assessment
  • Screenshots
     • Recorded dialogues
     • Reflective diary
     • Finished house
Q:   Dov’é metto il divano?
A:   La metta in salone.
     Vicino al fuori
     Are there other benefits?
• Learning styles can be explored
  – Visual and kinesthetic are fairly evident, but
    auditory styles could prove interesting.
• Students acquire higher-level skills
  – such as negotiation, intercultural
    communication, social, personal and creative
The environment
            •Endless possibilities:
                sailing, waterslides,
            •Exploring is one of the
            most fun things you can do
            in Second Life. You can do
            just about anything.
            •How does it benefit
            language learning?

•   Sailing in Nantucket - a themed sim
•   New environments promote new topics of conversation
•   The conversation turns to boats, and Venice.
•   Notecard on the bottom right shows how I include accents.
          Benefits and barriers
•   Definite cost in time and effort
•   Some investment of money
•   It takes time to get started
•   Technical issues
•   Interface issues
          Benefits and barriers
• On the positive side:
• Immersive
  – Difficult to dip in (very sociable)
  – Hours spent practising Italian
• The limit does appear to be your imagination
• Friendly, sociable, collaborative
• Rather like the www in the beginning…
  – Clunky, quirky but undeniably fun.
     Overall learning experience
•   Immersive
•   Collaborative
•   Active learning
•   Role-play
•   Speed of learning
•   Importance of cultural knowledge
• A quick view of the environment, the
  ‘learning centre’, the informal space
  where we meet up.
• Chat in-world with Glenn Hardaker,
  University of Huddersfield
        Useful links and articles
• Find out about Second Life at
• Second Life: the official Guide (2007) by Rymaszewski,
   M., Wagner, J.A., Wallace, M., Winters, C., Ondrejka, C.,
   Batstone-Cunningham, B., and Second Life residents.
   Pub: Wiley
• A useful article about language learning with Second Life
   by Vance Stevens,
• The University of California IT Guidance Committee
   provides a site of useful Second Life information links at:

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