Sunday, November 3, 2019

2019 #VWEDU: #DTA Language learning in virtual worlds. What the Digital Teaching Assistant could do

Language learning in virtual worlds.  
What the Digital Teaching Assistant could do

The best place to learn a language is where everybody speaks it.  There even the little kids speak it.  A Digital Teaching Assistant (DTA) can help.    This article is explicitly licensed Public Domain (CC0).
 You need to know the names
in the target language

Immersive language learning

Language learning in virtual worlds

A virtual place for language learning

  • The learning place uses only the target language. 
  • The place is has many everyday objects that are in in the vocabulary list. 
  • The objects can give their names in chat if a parameter is set to starter.
  • The self-naming feature can be gradually disabled for more advanced students.

Language learning games 

Treasure hunt

  • Find each item in a challenge list (in the target language).
  • Items are in expected locations (shoes in a shoe store, etc.)
  • On click, the object gives a token identifying the object.
  • The challenge is to collect all the tokens as fast as they can.  
  • Anyone fluent in the relevant vocabulary can do that quickly.
  • Anyone who is slow needs more practice--and is getting it.
  • Educational treasure hunt game

Follow instructions

  • DTA gives instructions in the target language (in text or spoken).
  • The instructions call for actions that can be carried out in the location:
  • "Click the red block at the base of the big tree."
  • The instructions can be as complicated as needed to show comprehension.
  • The instructions can use part of the target vocabulary.
  • The time score will show the level fluency.   

More game sources

Who should prepare the DTA for a language?

  • It could be a university where the target is spoken as the native language.
  • Language learning: What could a virtual (online) campus offer?
  • The cost would be too high for most students to go that university for study.
  • But the university could have a virtual campus on the student's laptop.  
  • Or it could provide study sessions managed by native speakers. 
  • The study sessions could offer language games prepared by native speakers.



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