I shared our idea with a publisher from Blackwell/Wiley who suggested we check out this journal:  

Language Learning & Technology

Online journal devoted to technology and language education research for foreign and second language educators. Full text of articles available.

In particular, this journal is supposed to have a discussion of using the popular video game The Simms for foreign language learning.
I searched their archive and found a number of helpful that I think we haven’t identified before — would one of the lab members (Kim or Alex?) check out this article (see editors over view and the particular article in the secial issue, both links below).


The Sims. This simulation game, which is popular in many countries around the world,. can be modified to create a bilingual environment that provides strong …… Ravi Purushotma’s account of the roles popular culture can play in supporting and enhancing foreign language learning. In “You’re Not Studying, You’re Just…” Purushotma argues that popular culture offers a rich range of readily-modifiable texts that can provide valuable alternatives to traditional high school classroom approaches to foreign language learning dominated by textbooks and isolated lists of vocabulary words and grammatical structures. He makes his case by reference to The Sims. This simulation game, which is popular in many countries around the world, can be modified to create a bilingual environment that provides strong, contextualized learning support for the target language while maintaining much of the pleasure to be had from gaming. He concludes by discussing similar possible benefits to be had from modifying voice-activated games, music videos, internet browser software, and from loading language lessons to one’s mobile phone for language learning on the go.

Here’s commentary on the article mentioned above:


environment, players exist as characters in a virtual world formed through their interactions with other. live players on the Internet. 

And this page has instructions on how to modify the Sims:


Here’s an article reviewing “Active Chinese” —


ActiveChinese introduces an online virtual classroom, Chinese Language. Skills for the Business World. It incorporates the latest technology in multimedia….


Svensson argues that use of virtual worlds stimulates creativity and motivation,  There are many opportunities for learning in the virtual world

From the Schwienhorst (2002) article:

  1. Aarseth & Jopp (1998)
  2. Abbott & Davis (1996)
  3. Holmevik & Haynes (2000)
  4. Kaplan & Holland (1998)
  5. Kaplan & Wisher (1998)
  6. Pinto (1996)
  7. Rose (1996) http://www.hitl.washington.edu/publications/rose/home.html This article (a Master’s thesis on Zengo Sayu, which is an immersive, interactive VE based on Total Physical Response and whole language instructional approaches) details methods used to test whether VR is an appropriate language learning tool.  This study was at the beginner level (prepositions), and included 3 learning conditions (VR, real-world, and text-based).  Listening comprehension and oral production were tested.  Learner attitudes also recorded.  Good stuff!
  8. Rose & Billinghurst (1995) http://www.hitl.washington.edu/publications/r-95-4/Overview of why Zengo Sayu is a great language learning tool.  I liked this – “Virtual worlds are totally engaging, entirely immersing the student cognitively in the environment.”  Good for citations and reasoning behind teaching style.
  9. Scinicariello & Bendis (2000) This presentation addresses the pedagogical and technical issues involved in designing a virtual environment that encourages language learners to collaborate in the acquisition, evaluation, and synthesis of cultural information.  Based on the design of a medieval château-fort, li Chastels de Savance is a multi-user interface to a database of resources (including text, graphics, audio, and video).  Queries on the database are linked to objects within the Castle.  For example, clicking on a medieval harp can lead the learner into a “room” stocked with resources on early music and performance practice.  Learners use real-time audio to communicate with each other as they collaboratively explore the environment and complete learning activities.  This presentation outlines the pedagogical choices that inform the construction of the Castle environment, the construction and use of the resource database, and the use of the environment to support in-class, distance, and continuing education.  It concludes by discussing the extension of this environment to support interdisciplinary learning in the humanities.
  10. Trueman (1996) http://vr.coe.ecu.edu/vrits/1-4truem.htmHere, they designed their own virtual “walkthrough”, which identifies object in NL then FL in familiar environments.  Reasoning behind this method is simple, saves teacher time and easier for ESL learners to follow than books.  What we can take from this was that they produced their own simple  virtual world with Apple’s Quick Time VR, which basically pans around a given real-world environment.  This would be easy to do for the experiment, but not interactive without some tweeking.
  11. Turbee (1995b)
  12. Turbee (1995c)
  13. US Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences (1995, Fall)
  14. US Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences (n.d.)
  15. Zohrab, P. (1996)

1 Response to “Things to find”

  1. 1 Kim October 26, 2008 at 6:20 pm

    Which of these have been found so far? Can we post our progress, so we’re not looking for the same things?

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