Tuesday, February 13, 2007
This weekend I attended an English as a Second Language (ESL) class. It was a surreal experience for two reasons. 1) I already speak English (unfortunately, the only language I do speak except for a little French which I continually butcher, oui) 2) the class was in Second Life (SL).
The instructor, Kip, separated the attendees into two groups and then asked a series of questions in English using slides and then the participants answered with written English sentences. The instructor would correct the students (most of whom spoke German as a first language) by typing a correction or the entire correct sentence.
It worked surprisingly well. The students raised their hands with questions and there was good rapport between the students and the instructor. Many of whom used that medium as their only method of learning English.
It was interesting to attend a class online in SL. I would strongly urge you to do so if given the chance, one can certainly see the potential and the promise of learning in 3D for a language.
For example, the instructor could move the class to a restaurant and have the students order a meal or go to a train station and have them buy a ticket or ask for the restroom or walk down a street in Paris and ask a policeman for directions. The SL environment provides a great opportunity to immerse the learner in the language and the situation. A guided tour designed to help learners speak the language.
Special thanks to Deanna!
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