The PADS Project: Using Second Life to promote language use in beginning language students

SATURDAY, 29 September 2012 – 11am GMT | 4am SL | 8pm TYO

Recording (55min):

The PADS Project:  Using Second Life to promote language use in beginning language students

The presentation discusses a two-year transdisciplinary project that integrated a wide variety of modalities including Second Life in order to promote authentic use of the target language with young learners of English. In each stage of the project the students from Spain (Barcelona) were partnered with peer in another country (Canada, then Austria). Stage I of the project included the use of a virtual Art Gallery located in Second Life to bring to life the works of two important artists from the partner regions in Canada and Spain.  Stage II had the participants from Spain and Austria focus on the idea of healthy habits.  In order to accomplish this, the researchers used Second Life to create custom machinima illustrating the effect of life choices on virtual actors. Preliminary analysis indicates that integrated language and transdisciplinary competencies were assimilated by the participating students.

Randall Sadler is an Associate Professor of Linguistics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he teaches courses on Computer-Mediated Communication and Language Learning (CMCLL), Virtual Worlds and Language Learning (VWLL) and Teaching of Second Language Reading and Writing.  His main research focus is on the role of technology in language learning, with a particular focus on how Virtual Worlds may be used to enhance that process.  He has published in these areas in journals including the Journal of English for Academic Purposes, CALICO Journal, and Computers & Education.  His latest book, Virtual Worlds, Telecollaboration, and Language Learning: From Theory to Practice is published by Peter Lang.  He is also the co-owner of the EduNation Islands, which are located in the Virtual World Second Life, where he may often be found in the guise of his avatar Randall Renoir.

Melinda Dooly is a teacher educator at the Science Education Faculty of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (Spain). She teaches English as a Foreign Language Methodology (TEFL) and research methods courses, focusing on telecollaboration in education. Her research addresses teacher preparation and the use of CALL and CMC. She has published in the areas of teacher education and the use of technology in journals including ReCALLLanguage Learning and TechnologyELT-Journal and Teacher and Teaching Education. She is co-editor of the book series Telecollaboration in Education (Peter Lang). Dr. Dooly’s current research interest is in project-based telecollaborative language learning and very young learners.

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