Immersive Language Learning in Collaborative Virtual Environments: The Current Status and Possible Trends

Immersive Language Learning in Collaborative Virtual Environments: The Current Status and Possible Trends

Ya-Chun Shih (National Dong Hwa University, Taiwan)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61692-825-4.ch005
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Abstract

This chapter explores the role of collaborative virtual environments (CVE) in the language learning immersion experience. Despite the lack of strong empirical evidence, CVE assisted language learning has become an interesting point in recent research on technology-supported language learning. The current work reviews specific issues in the context of CVE assisted language learning: (a) current research, theory and practice; (b) virtual reality assisted language learning; (c) link between CVEs and Web 2.0.
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Current Cves For Language Learning

This chapter focuses on three-dimensional collaborative virtual environments (CVEs), also referred to as virtual worlds, multi-user virtual environments (MUVE), such as Second Life (Linden Research, Inc., n.d.), Active Worlds (Activeworlds, Inc., n.d.), Project Wonderland (Sun Microsystems, Inc., n.d.), and There (Makena Technologies, Inc., 2010). Tomek (2001) defines CVE as “a software environment that creates a configurable universe which emulates a number of serviceable aspects of physical reality, such as space, movable objects, navigation, and communication between (representations of) humans” (as cited in Schmeil & Eppler, 2008, p. 1). CVEs, in which people embodied as avatars gather, interact with others, embodied agents, virtual objects and environments, offer an ideal atmosphere for language learning.

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