I’m working with a bunch of guys who have developed some really cool virtualworld software for ESL. In the virtual world students can go in, walk around, chat to others, order a coffee, visit a bank etc, baically practicing their English. The idea is that students will spend more time in a game environment compared to just looking at books. It almost like SecondLife but it has features especially for ESL. For example, the teacher sets a number of tasks for the student to do in the virtual world, like go to a coffee shop, order a coffee, make small talk with the waiter, find out the time from someone, etc…This is all recorded, timed, scored etc and students get points for accuracy, grammar usage, vocabulary usage etc. Alternatively, students can just wander and clock up points by just chatting with others.
Currently, we want to run the pilot in Taiwan, but are a little unfamilar with the local ESL environment. We are looking for a few teachers who can tell us a little about their school, the materials they use, basic stuff, so we can build a picture. In return, we can offer those intersted some free copies of the sofware when we launch to try out.
If you would like to be part of the little experiment and get involved, and be first in trying virtual English teaching, drop me a line.
Ok… hope to hear from you