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Immersive Language Teaching and Learning

Page history last edited by Heike Philp 4 months, 3 weeks 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


Which virtual world is suitable for language education? What kind of equipment or software do you need? How long does it take to get to know this world before we introduce this to our students? Is this virtual space safe for our learners?


We want to introduce our participants to a variety of virtual worlds and look forward to inviting guest speakers who are familiar with some of the seldom used ones. For all live sessions we offer Zoom videoconferencing access where language educators can watch others sharing their screens. Participants are also encouraged to join this virtual environment and instructions on how to do so are provided.




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 8pm GMT/ UK time and additional sessions with guest speakers will be announced. All of the sessions will be recorded.   




Week 1

12-19 January 2020


Live sessions:

Kick-off Sunday 12 January 2020 at 8pm GMT/ 12pm PST

Live Session 1.1:  Tuesday, 14 January 2020 at 8pm GMT/ 12pm PST

Live Session 1.2:  Thursday, 16 January 2020 at 8pm GMT/ 12pm PST


Moderator: Heike Philp 


Overview of various virtual worlds 


High Fidelity, VR Chat, Sansar, Co-Spaces, SineSpace

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.  

Week 2

20 January - 26 January 2020

Moderator: 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.


Questionnaire in Google forms to help create some statistics to be shared with all: Considering the learning objectives, what is the virtual world which fits best with your goals?

Mentimeter / Tricider / Answer garden (voting and answering tool), multiple choice or open questions? you can choose..




Community platform: Discord Channel vLanguages (coming soon)

Content pages: http://vlanguages.pbworks.com/  



Join this session


Registration starts on Jan 5, 2020. 



To join this EVO session:  https://forms.gle/DDtKoB8TiVPsuFUr8


From January 5 - 11.


Join our community platform: Discord Channel vLanguages (coming soon)

Content pages: http://vlanguages.pbworks.com/ 








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.



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.
  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.



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