SECOND LIFE AS A LANGUAGE LEARNING TOOL (EFL)


Yavuz SAMUR


ABSTRACT
Over the last few years there has been an increased interest in Multi-User Virtual Environments (MUVEs), or virtual worlds, by instructional designers and developers. One of many instructional activities taking place in Second Life (SL) is language learning for English-as-a-foreign-language (EFL) students. Gartner Inc. (2007) says 80 percent of active internet users will have a ―Second Life (SL)‖ in the virtual world by the end of 2011. In this paper, the researches and use of SL in language instruction is examined and some suggestions are offered to both instructors and designers on how they can leverage of SL especially in higher education settings. In addition to its advantages, the disadvantages are going to be discussed in this paper as well in order to approach this virtual world from an objective angle and give some really experience based ideas to the instructors and designers. Virtual worlds especially Second Life is first briefly summarized and then how SL can be used for language learning. Next the current situation of using SL in language learning and as a tool for practice with other language learners is examined. Then some advantages and drawbacks are mentioned. The paper is going to be concluded with some useful recommendations to the instructors and designers of instructional application of SL for effective teaching, learning and practice. This paper describes that how MUVEs, primarily focusing on SL, can affect EFL programs and learners. Therefore students who learn English as a foreign language in higher education settings and who are using SL are going to be the main target of this review.


KEYWORDS: Second Life-SL; virtual world; foreign-language (EFL); Multi-User Virtual Environments (MUVEs)

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