Program (all times are in GMT)

Affordances for learning in virtual worlds by Scott Grant, Monash University
Mar 1 @ 9:00 am – 10:00 am
Affordances for learning in virtual worlds by Scott Grant, Monash University

Ever since the early days of people writing about VWs for language learning there has been an emphasis on the “affordances” that VWs inherently provide for language learning and task-based learning. I take an historical look at a couple of different variations of concepts of affordances and then show some brief examples from video recordings I made of a couple of students during a lesson which illustrate successful and unsuccessful realisations of affordances I designed into the Chinese Island learning environment. My thinking on this is not complete yet, but presenting and getting feedback could help crystallise things a bit. Informal meeting with those interested in doing a thesis, phd or similar in virtual worlds.

Scott will also talk about a successful in obtaining Australian Federal Government funding for a project based on Chinese language learning in a virtual world environment. They haven’t formally started the project yet, but I could talk about the project, the reasoning behind the project and the goals.

Scott Grant [Xilin Yifu] is a graduate of Monash University with Bachelor of Economics and a Master of Translation Studies degrees. His PhD thesis on teaching language and culture in virtual worlds. The working title is “Getting Immersed in Chinese”.

Scott spent 8 years living, studying and working in China.

Scott has taught Chinese language and culture at tertiary level for more than ten years. He also taught translation for a number of years at post-graduate level and is a professionally qualified translator. Scott has developed a Chinese-themed virtual leaning environment in Second Life on Chinese Island at Monash University 2.

Second Life Calling: Language learners communicating virtually across the globe
Mar 1 @ 9:30 am – 10:30 am

Language learners are motivated to learn when they understand a given context and are able to relate to the authenticity of situation. Many of these activities are traditionally achieved through role-playing. In Second Life (SL), people from different corners of the globe can participate in live synchronous communication in a shared virtual space through their virtual representations or ‘avatars’. One advantage of SL for such role-play is that the focus is on the avatar not directly on the language learner. This paper reports the results from a pilot study conducted at a New Zealand polytechnic on the perceptions of English language learners using the mutli-user virtual environment of Second Life to complement their learning.

Keywords: Second Life, computer-assisted language learning, ELT, role-plays, synchronous communication, collaborative learning, CMC, CSCL, virtual communities, autonomous learning

I have a keen interest in using multi-user virtual environments in teaching and learning languages, and am currently undertaking research in the field, as part of my Graduate Diploma in IT. I’m a committee member of the Virtual Life Education in NZ association (VLENZ) and am currently involved in the Koru Development Project. I’m also a member of the Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education (Ascilite).

My current research includes language teaching and learning in multi-user virtual worlds – especially the mutually beneficial authentic oral language exchange between complementary L1 & L2 learners.

About me –

Dr. Pawel Topol: Researching educational functionality of Second Life
Mar 1 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am
Dr. Pawel Topol: Researching educational functionality of Second Life

The presentation will be a report of my research project on Second Life as a functional environment for language teaching and learning. 70 students of Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland participated. The research methodology included a pedagogical experiment with experimental and control groups, questionnaires, surveys and discussion groups. The students were involved in different activities in SL: quests, individual and group exploration of SL, regular foreign language classes in SL, etc. In the presentation, a description of the project will be given, methodology and results.

Pawel Topol aka Pawlus Twine, Ph.D., head, Division for Educational Applications of Computers, Faculty of Educational Studies, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland. Experienced in EFL teaching (30+ years), CALL (25 years), IT and ICT teaching (20+ years), distant education, and finally active teacher in Second Life since 2008. Author, book, with English title “Educational functionality of virtual worlds”, 424pp., published in Polish in 2013.

Comparative Education: Training English Language Teachers on 3D VLE
Mar 1 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Comparative Education: Training English Language Teachers on 3D VLE

The presentation will report a research Project on Second Life aiming at introducing pre-service language teachers with 3D Virtual Learning Environments and enabling them to use this environment for language teaching at Istanbul University, Hasan Ali Yucel Faculty of Education, English Language Teaching Department. In the scope of the Project, “Comparative Education” class has been conducted both face to face and in World. In the presentation, a description of the project, methodology, results and student work will be given and a tour of the virtual classroom will be executed.

Tuncer Can (PhD since 2011, from Istanbul University, English Language Teaching Department) has been working in the same department since 2001. His research ranges from Constructivist Approach to using 3D Virtual Learning Environments in the context of foreign language learning and instruction. He has also managed and partnered in many projects like “Establishing the Virtual Campus of Istanbul University on 3D VLE,” funded by Istanbul University Research Center and “CAMELOT: CreAting Machinima Empowers Live Online Language Teaching and Learning” funded by European Commission, being the latest. He has been operating

Virtual Cultural Research with students of the Free University of Berlin
Mar 1 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Elliot Hughes and Juan Jose aka Jo Cucuz

Marisa Constantinides: Machinima for Language Learning
Mar 1 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Marisa Constantinides: Machinima for Language Learning

Creating machinima for learning languages provides teachers with a great opportunity to embed language in a context of use rather than present it to the learners only through audio – without the benefit of the images and the features of the context surrounding the language. For a machinima to be put to good use in class, some principles relating both to its creation and its use need to be taken into account. This presentation aims to explore some of the characteristics of machinima suited for the language classroom and some ideas for effective materials and lesson design. The same issues apply to the use of any video material, whether teacher created or not.

Marisa Constantinides [Marisolde Orellana] is a teacher educator/trainer from Athens, Greece. She runs CELT Athens, a centre offering a variety of TEFL training programmes, from TEFL and CELTA certificates to Cambridge DELTA courses. Marisa has a DipTEFLA and an M.A. in Applied Linguisitcs from the University of Reading (UK). She is a frequent conference speaker at conferences – IATEFL, TESOL France, as well as online conferences, such as the Virtual Round Table, Slanguages and RSCON. She joined Second Life in 2009 and has been a resident in Edunation since 2012. Marisa is a moderator/co-founder of the ELTon nominated weekly #ELTChat on Twitter which organises free professional development chats and maintains a blog full of resources. She  helped in the moderation of MachinEVO 2012 and was moderator for Digikids EVO in 2013.

Tour in family Gómez house with Dr. Ines Diglione
Mar 1 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Format: Presentation and Tour

Familia Gomez is a series of machinima which have been produced over a period of 2 years with the 15th serial just having been published. This telenovela is designed for learning Spanish and involves a family and their exchange student Bettina. The actors: JOSÉ (father Alfonso Perfferle), MARÍA (mother Losairam), TÍA ANA (Aunt Ana – Ines), MARÍA JOSÉ (Tuanjana as child), BETTINA (Heike Philp), KENNY (a friend of Maria Jose), GLORIS, EL CONDUCTOR (bus driver), KITTY (cat), PUP (puppy dog).

For a description of the characters see here

Ines Diglione aka Inés Rodríguez is doctor of Philology, Full professor of Italian Studies position
Head of Department French and Italian Philology, University of Valencia (Spain)
For several years she occupied various management positions at the Faculty of Philology, Translation and Communication from the University of Valencia. Director of Educational Innovation Project (PIE) Italian Philology, Director of Educational Innovation Program “”ECTS Pilot Project”", Member of Teaching Innovation Group at the University of Valencia TACAES. At the present Director of Teaching Innovation Group and Network of Universities from the University of Valencia SLATES”

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