I had a great experience Tuesday teaching French to a group of language educators from around the world…I was using the Natural Approach to teach colors to them. I had a portable projector and we talked about the different colors briefly, practiced pronunciation, and talked about the colors we were all wearing.
Then things got exciting.
I sent them out with cameras to take a picture of something in their favorite color, but didn’t anticipate that they wouldn’t know how to use their cameras. Plan B: Take us to the subject of your photo shoot. We teleported to London to look at a bright red telephone booth, over to the caves of Lascaux to the most breathtaking blue water…and to a few other sites, all in the space of about five minutes!
Then, I got to watch my colleagues do similarly amazing things using other SLA methodologies. One of them had created this amazing field of phonetic “buttons”, where you could touch a phonetic symbol and hear the phoneme played out for you:
Impossible? Then you haven’t been to Second Life lately. It was fascinating to see how different ways of teaching languages play out in Second Life, and the strengths and weaknesses of each. More about this at another time.
As time progresses, I hope to discuss how teaching in Second Life differs from teaching in the classroom, and even from teaching online using traditional tools. I also will discuss both Second Life and third-party tools and applications that can be used in Second Life to enhance the learning of a target language or culture.
If there is anything you want to learn about teaching languages in SL, feel free to drop a line to suggest a subject for an upcoming post!
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