Language Learning in Second Life
- Level: High school
- Language: Chinese
- Free of charge
Learning another language, especially a tonal language like Chinese, can be difficult. Sometimes, students need to engage in language learning outside of the classroom to become proficient, but convincing them to work at home can be challenging. But what if that practicing a language at home felt like a game?
CASLS and partners Centric and Avant Assessment created MyChina Village to encourage students to be self-directed learners in an environment that doesn’t feel like a classroom at all. MyChina Village, a virtual world in Second Life, provided a structured learning environment while capitalizing on the benefits of traditional study abroad. MyChina Village increased students’ proficiency by allowing them to interact naturally with Chinese speakers.
In summer 2009, CASLS hosted the MyChina Village Virtual Chinese Immersion Camp in Second Life to provide students with opportunities to immerse themselves in the Chinese culture, interact with native speakers, meet others studying Chinese, and practice the language. 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.