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EVO Session Immersive Language Learning in Virtual Worlds

Page history last edited by Jen Hamilton 7 months ago

Immersive Language Learning

in Virtual Worlds




To learn a language live online is the best and sometimes cheapest way of practicing it in real-time with other people. Virtual worlds and video games offer opportunities to meet speakers of other languages and native speakers alike but there are many 3D spaces out there and sometimes it is difficult to decide which one to join. 


We want to cover a number of virtual worlds, but where possible try to get some hands on with building and perhaps even creating machinima (videos taken in virtual worlds). For those less experienced we offer Zoom videoconferencing sessions where language educators can watch others sharing their screens.




By the end of this session you should:


  • Have a good overview of what kind of virtual worlds exist

  • Be able to decide a suitable virtual environment for your learners

  • Consider activities which can be done in these 3D environments 





Participants are asked to compare the various virtual worlds for language learning. There will be a chart which helps to evaluate and you are asked to create a Google Slides booklet with screenshots (or any other portfolio tool of your choice) and short descriptions of each world. Please list the affordances, advantages, disadvantages, possible target groups of each environment.


Target audience


This session is aimed at experienced language educators, language course designers, and webheads.  Those without experience in entering and navigating virtual worlds will be able to join the sessions in Zoom and should at the end of the EVO session be able to decide which environments warrants additional time. 


Live online sessions are every Tuesday and Thursday at   9pm UK time. All of the sessions will be recorded.   




Week 1

12-19 January 2020

Moderator: Heike Philp 


Overview of various virtual worlds 


High Fidelity, VR Chat, Sansar

During this first week, we will look at various virtual environments which allow for real-time conversations such as Sinespace, HiFidelity, Sansar (Draxtor), VR Chat etc.  


Participants with experience in various virtual worlds are invited to tour us around and showcase them using the screen sharing feature of Zoom. (John Lester / Pathfinder) 

Week 2

20 January - 26 January 2020

Moderator: Alan Simpson, Annalisa di Pierro, Jennifer Hamilton, Helena Galani, Alicja Bomirska 


Open Sim 

We visit an OpenSim site called and hypergrid to other worlds like OSGrid, Craftworld (Lucia - Escape the Room Demo!), Edmondo (Annalisa does Show&Tell) and others.


Open Sim Kitely

EduNation in Kitely, Barbara Novelli's SLESL, Helena's ELT Treasure Island on Kitely, GUINEVERE island (Alicja)


Week 3

27 January - 02 February 2020


Moderators: Shelwyn Corrigan, Laura Jeffcoat, Helena Galani, Karelia Kondor and Dr. Randall Sadler

Second Life - LearnIt Town

We look forward to hearing from one of the oldest language schools in Second Life LearnIt Town, where regular courses take place. 

During another session we will visit EduNation, look at the holodecks and visit Virtlantis in Second Life.


Second Life - EduNation/ Virtlantis


Week 4

03 February  - 09 February 2020 

Moderators: Heike Philp

Minecraft - Dakotah and Carol to tour (GUINEVERE, Hindervall) MinecraftMOOC, Eastcoast Miners  


World of Warcraft  - Maha tour, Lyr Lobo (Dr. Cynthia Calogne), Dakotah Redstone tour



Week 5

10 February  - 16 February 2020 

Moderator: Jennifer Hamilton 

Choosing a Virtual World that Supports Student Learning Objectives

In this session we will discuss the variety of different learning tools and interfaces available in virtual worlds in general and specifically in the worlds and games discussed in the first four sessions of this course.  Participants will identify which world(s) will best meet their

  • learning objectives 
  • interests
  • available technology 
  • student age
  • classroom mode (synchronous/asynchronous, in person/online/mixed) 
  • available class time 

and other factors that influence choice of the best virtual world for different educational circumstances and goals.


Share ideas on how educators could use virtual worlds for language teaching and learning and develop personal goals and the first step of an action plan to pilot or explore virtual world use in the classroom.

  1. Add to our tricider by listing the pros and cons of the virtual worlds we have investigated and vote for your favorites at https://www.tricider.com/brainstorming/3RoZDsCFBnx
  2. Review and add your comments to our chart of the environments we have reviewed at https://docs.google.com/document/d/145lKIGizUm_GuXaqstNGEKxN330jaZ3pkNYhmFgSyt0/edit?usp=sharing


Forget what a particular world looked like?  See the quick reference images at http://vlanguages.pbworks.com/w/page/137950404/SIGHTSEEING%20IN%20VIRTUAL%20WORLDS 






Community platform

Discord Group 




Name (last, first)

Biodata (not more than 50 words)

Dr. Randall Sadler



Randall Sadler [aka Randall Renoir] is Associate professor at  Illinois University, head of the Virtual Worlds SIG of CALICO, and a book author on language learning in virtual worlds and telecollaboration. He is a TESOL member and co-owner of EduNation islands in Second Life. ‘Virtual Worlds for Language Learning: From Theory to Practice (Telecollaboration in Education)’, Randall Sadler, published by Peter Lang AG, Switzerland.

Heike Philp 



Heike Philp [Gwen Gwasi] is CEO of let's talk online sprl, a technology support provider for language learning and events in real-time. She is co-initiator of EU funded LANCELOT (virtual classroom) and AVALON (virtual world) and the CAMELOT project (machinima for language teachers). She is founder of the Virtual Round Table Conference and co-owns EduNation in Second Life. 

Dennis Newson



Dennis Newson [Osnacantab Nesterov] M.A. (Cantab), P.D.E.S.L (Leeds), taught EFL in Africa, Arabia, Norway, and Germany in middle schools, secondary schools, teacher training colleges, a technical university, and an arts university. He was consultant for short periods in Bosnia and Kosovo, and conferences have taken him to Poland, Hungary, Las Palmas, Russia, and England. He has developed his interest in SL since his alleged retirement.   In Second Life he is known as Osnacantab Nesterov.  

Shelwyn Corrigan



Shelwyn Corrigan [Wynshel Heir] has a Master's in Linguistics, a Master's in Digital Media & Learning, and certification in Multimedia Studies. She has worked in digital design since 1994. In addition, she has taught ESL and EFL in Europe and South America and at universities in California and New York. She is a media consultant and web designer and teaches graduate courses at the University of San Francisco (USF) since 2001. She runs her own language school LearnIT Town in Second Life.

  Laura Jeffcoat

Helena Galani



Helena Galani [ErlinaAzure in SL] holds an RSA Diploma, M.A. ELT (Applied Linguistics), and certification in teacher training and advanced ICT skills.

As qualified ELT (adult) educator and tutor, Helena has been blending and flipping her classes in Virtual Worlds. She has also taught EFL and trained teachers for INDIRE on edMondo. As moderator during EVO ViLLAGE, Helena presented on the usefulness of designing games and Interactive Scenarios in ELT through Virtual Worlds.  As EduNation resident and CAMELOT Award winner in 2015, Helena supports the educational value of VWs environments through learner and teacher machinima. At conventions, she highlights different aspects on the value of 3D VWs and machinima in language teaching.

Kip Boahn (aka Kip Yellowjacket)

WEBSITE: http://www.virtlantis.com


E-MAIL: info@virtlantis.com



Info pending...

Alan Simpson 




Alan Simpson has a MSc in TESOL and is an associate professor and English Program coordinator at Miyazaki International College, in Southern Japan. With interests in English for Specific Purposes, he coordinates a Business Communication special interest group, and has an interest in immersive language teaching and learning in specific virtual contexts. 



Alicja Bomirska 





Alicja Bomirska,M.A. Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland, has been a teacher of English for nearly 30 years. She has successfully completed numerous TEFL courses, many of them on ICT and VR Immersive Language Learning. She has been invoved in many projects and currently is cooperating with an Italian school on an E-twinning project where the use of the virtual environment is essential.
  Anne E Turner
  Jennifer Hamilton [Jaz Beverly] has a Masters in Library in Information Science and is Head of Instruction and an Assistant Professor at the Dupré Library, University of Louisiana at Lafayette.  Jen first became active in virtual worlds in 2008 in graduate school, when she interned in Second Life at the still active nine-branch public library system in Caledon.  She was a teacher-trainee in the GUINEVERE project, and has just launched a pilot virtual world for library education in Kitely.

Annalisa Di Pierro                                




Annalisa Di Pierro is a teacher of English Language at a Technical High School in Pisa, Italy, Erasmus project coordinator, eTwinning ambassadress,coordinator of the eTwinning group: “Methodologies and Digital Tools”,expert and teachers trainer in ICT and digital tools that she uses in teaching and learning, to improve the quality of students participation by offering more stimulating ways of supporting learning, according to the 21stcentury competencies. She is very interested in the use of virtual environments (Edmondo-Craft-Guinevere-Second Life) and modelling in 3D (Blender) for educational goals.

I understand that session moderators are required to participate in the 5-week Moderators' Development Session from October 13 until November 10, 2019. The EVO session will be offered between January 11 and February 16, 2019.
  I understand that EVO sessions are free of advertising and no commercial sponsorship is allowed. Finally, I understand that EVO sessions are free and open to all, and that no academic credit may be given for participation.


I agree, Heike Philp

I agree, Alicja Bomirska

I agree, Dennis Newson

I agree, Helena Galani

I agree, Annalisa Di Pierro

I agree, Jennifer Hamilton




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