Language Learning In Second Life: American And Turkish Students’ Experiences


There have been several attempts to integrate Web 2.0 technologies including podcasts, weblogs, wikis, and virtual 3D communities into language education thus far. Second Life, a virtual 3D community, might create unique opportunities for language learners specifically in the following ways: As a source of authentic interaction with target language speakers, a venue for language classes, and an autonomous study opportunity for learners. In this context, this study reports Second Life experiences of American students learning Turkish as a foreign language in the University of Florida, the USA and of Turkish students learning English as a foreign language at Gazi University, Turkey. The interviews demonstrated that both groups of students regarded Second Life as a contribution to authentic interaction with native language. Furthermore, the experiences indicated Second Life served as a good bridge for cultural competence and an inevitable tool to foster less threatened learning experiences despite challenges encountered on the way.

KEYWORDS: Web 2.0, Virtual Communities, Second Life, Language Learning.