Language Learning in Second Life
- Level: High school
- Language: Chinese
- Cost: Free of charge
Learning another language, especially a tonal language like Chinese, can be difficult and requires additional time to become proficient. As a result, students need to use the language outside of the classroom, but convincing them to do so can be challenging. But what if practicing a language at home felt like a game?
CASLS and partners Centric and Avant Assessment created MyChina Village to encourage students to practice using Chinese outside of the classroom. MyChina Village, a virtual world in Second Life, provided a structured learning environment where students interacted with native Chinese speakers.
In summer 2009, the MyChina Village Virtual Chinese Immersion Camp in Second Life immersed students in Chinese culture. They interacted with native speakers and met others studying Chinese. The camp increased students’ proficiency by allowing them to interact naturally with Chinese speakers.
CASLS partnered with students from Soochow University’s Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language Program to serve as camp facilitators. The MyChina Village website includes the learning tools and assessments that can be adapted to other contexts.