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


Cem BALCIKANLI


ABSTRACT
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.

[PDF]