Forbes Article on Language Learning in Second Life

Forbes.com has an article up on ESL (English as a Second Language) in Second Life:

How To Spark Remote Learning

This is a great article on the efforts of those teaching English in-world. Kip Boahn is highlighted as an innovator in this area of online instructions in Second Life:

“Kip Boahn, who has co-led a real-life English-language school in Germany for the last eight years, has become passionate about teaching in “Second Life.” As “Kip Yellowjacket,” Boahn started teaching ESL to fellow “Second Life” players back in 2006. Originally from North Carolina, Boahn got his start in the game with a group called The English Village, but has now built his own ESL center. “Second Life English,” Boahn’s new project, is a virtual island entirely dedicated to providing free online resources to language teachers and students. ”

Kip and his associates are using some innovative techniques to immerse their learners in the language, including the use of ‘holodecks’ to quickly switch settings:

“In addition to providing resources, Boahn also offers free ESL workshops through “Second Life English”–a great deal, he says, since private language lessons in-world can cost as much as $20 an hour. Like many “Second Life instructors,” Boahn takes a hands-on approach to teaching in a virtual classroom. During workshops, he uses a team of teachers to present students with different linguistic tasks, which could include anything from asking for directions to bargaining to buy a knickknack. To do those tasks, Boahn and his colleagues use “holodecks,” rooms that can flip through as many as 40 different scenes at the mere click of a mouse. Want to practice ordering American fast food? Just switch the holodeck to Dara’s Diner and line up at the counter.”

There are so many possibilities for education in Second Life. And by this I do not mean replicating a classroom with desks and chairs. This is yet another example of thinking outside the box and providing students with engaging and educational content that goes far beyond a classroom.

Follow the link above and read the full Forbes article for many more details on this worthy project that is blazing new trails for language learning in Second Life.

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