The Use of Virtual Worlds in Foreign Language Teaching and Learning

The Use of Virtual Worlds in Foreign Language Teaching and Learning

Ellen Yeh (Columbia College Chicago, USA) and Guofang Wan (Virginia Commonwealth University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8179-6.ch031
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This book chapter presents, a review of the literature from 2004-2014 regarding the various models of virtual worlds used in foreign language teaching and learning, the impact of virtual world learning environments and the implications of language teaching. The study being reported aims to address the following questions: (1) What are the models of virtual worlds used in language learning instruction in K-12 and higher education; (2) How do VWLEs impact language learning in terms of motivation, communicative competency, intercultural competency, collaborative competency, constructivist learning, and sociocultural competency; and (3) What are the implications of using VWLEs in foreign language teaching and learning? Results indicate that social context and task-based learning enhanced language learners' participation and motivations. Findings also indicate that consistent use of interactional strategies encouraged learners to engage in the tasks and stay motivated. The study suggested that a VWLE offers a motivating, engaging, and multi-dynamic environment for language learners.
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In recent years, the rapid advancement of technology has brought easy access to a plethora of open source software, mobile apps, and virtual worlds to the public, which are changing the landscape of foreign language teaching and learning.

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