Planning for HISP205-09… in Second Life

January 3, 2009: Before we broke for the Winter Break, I was lucky enough to converse with language and technology colleagues from Case Western Reserve University. Case has a large and growing presence in Second Life, and when I received an email from my colleague Tina at Case that she worked with a Spanish instructor who wanted to use Case’s space for Spanish conversation practice and was looking for others with whom she could collaborate. And since this is exactly what I was hoping to do with my students, well, I was happy to have the invitation and even happier to jump in.

What follows are a couple of Machinima videos captured by Second Life Guru Sue at Case of our conversations. The first video is of Sue, me, Carolina from Case and the ever present, ubiquitous Dafne from Venezuela (well not us, of course, ’twas our avatars) sitting in the café that Sue set up specifically for language conversations.

[Ah Dafne: I have taught this Spanish conversation course using social software for three years now and Dafne, somehow, someway, has been a presence in every single one of these classes. I never plan for it, but she, like others whom I have come to know virtually through these tools, is always willing and more than able to share her expertise, her talents, and her language with my students. I often where I would be, where my teaching would be, where my students’ learning might –not– be without the kindness of strangers such as Dafne.]

The second video is a snippet of a tour that Dafne gave us of Ciudad Bonita, a remarkable immersive environment for Spanish language learning created by the folks at

Here is a blog post from that talks about Ciudad Bonita and Dafne’s efforts to make it happen. Here is yet another blog post about this location

I am still trying to figure out whether one has to have an account with to go there, bring students there, explore there. I am looking forward to speaking with Paul Sweeney (the head of later in the month.

Here are the videos of our “meetings” (Man, could I have more work meetings like this…like meetings where I can fly?…please?)

(Click on the screen shot to run the video)

CWRU Language Café’s Ciudad Bonita (Bank) Video

Dafne has since sent me this info about an upcoming in-world conference in Second Life for Language Educators… enjoy.

More to follow….

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Barbara is a Lecturer in Hispanic Studies at a small liberal arts college in Maine. Rumor has it this was also her alma mater. She used to work for a small liberal arts college in the cornfields of Ohio for almost 20 years as a teacher and language center director. Prior to these adventures in higher ed she taught high school Spanish and loved it. She wishes she had more time in her life to play with her dogs, write, read, swim, do yoga things and making stuff out of clay. To see her online portfolio please click here!

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