Enabling Multilingual Social Interactions and Fostering Language Learning in Virtual Worlds

Enabling Multilingual Social Interactions and Fostering Language Learning in Virtual Worlds

Samuel Cruz-Lara (University of Lorraine, France), Tarik Osswald (University of Lorraine, France), Jean-Pierre Camal (University of Lorraine, France), Nadia Bellalem (University of Lorraine, France), Lotfi Bellalem (University of Lorraine, France) and Jordan Guinaud (University of Lorraine, France)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-762-3.ch037
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Abstract

In order to enhance interoperability between virtual worlds, applications, and corpora, it is obvious that standards should come into place. This is the main goal of MLIF and, on a more global perspective, of the Metaverse1 project. In this paper, we study social interactions in virtual worlds, present some cues to facilitate them, and describe the empirical support that we developed for these theories. We also present a few methods for fostering language learning in virtual worlds, and we explain how we have implemented some of them.
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Background Information And Definitions

The MultiLingual Information Framework (MLIF)

MLIF, the MultiLingual Information Framework [ISO DIS 24616] (http://www.iso.org/iso/catalogue_detail.htm?csnumber=37330) is a standard project, initiated by Samuel Cruz-Lara and Laurent Romary (LORIA, France). It is being developed by the LORIA, and validated by the International Organization for Standards (ISO) committee.

MLIF provides a generic platform for modeling and managing multilingual information in various domains: localization, translation, multimedia, document management, digital library, and information or business modeling applications. MLIF provides a metamodel and a set of generic data categories for various application domains. MLIF also provides strategies for the interoperability and/or linking of models including, but not limited to: XLIFF, TMX, SMILText and ITS.

The ITEA2 Metaverse1 Project

ITEA2 is an industry-driven, pre-competitive Research & Development program that brings together partners from industry, universities and research institutes in strategic projects.

The Metaverse1 project will provide a standardized global framework enabling the interoperability between virtual worlds (as for example Second Life™, World of Warcraft™, IMVU™, Active Worlds™, Google Earth™ and many others) and the real world (sensors, actuators, vision and rendering, social and welfare systems, banking, insurance, travel, real estate and many others).

In order to bridge the differences in existing and emerging metaverses, MPEG-V Media Context and Control (ISO/IEC 23005) will provide a lower entry level to (multiple) virtual worlds both for the provider of goods and services as well as the user (Timmerer et al., 2009).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Interoperability: Interoperability is the ability of two or more applications or components to exchange information together. Thus, interoperable applications and components may be connected together or be able to read the same data formats. Standardization leads to a greater interoperability of applications and components.

Language Learning: In this paper, “language learning” could also be written “language e-learning”. It encompasses foreign language learning as well as one’s own language learning. In fact, out tools may also help for talking about very specific topics in one’s own language.

E-Inclusion: E-Inclusion is related to the amount of people who are able to access a certain electronic application, despite their material, physical or mental handicaps. Enhancing e-Inclusion for a certain application means developing new features for making more people able to use this application.

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