8th SLanguages Annual Symposium 2015

Conference Organizer
Conference Organizer

Time: November 14, 2015 to November 15, 2015
Location: EduNation in Second Life
Organized By: Heike Philp aka Gwen Gwasi

Event Description:
8th SLanguages Annual Symposium
14-15 November 2015 (Sat/Sun)
Come and join us at SLanguages Annual Symposium, a two day online conference on language learning in virtual worlds held for the 8th time on EduNation in SecondLife.  The two main topics of the conference are machinima (cinematic productions of real-time conversations in virtual environments) on Saturday, 14 Nov 2015 starting at 12pm GMT and language learning games on Sunday, 15 Nov 2015 starting at 9am GMT.
We meet on EduNation in SecondLife, and there are tours to various virtual worlds like OpenSim, Edmondo, Kitely, Minecraft, Unity 3D etc., some of which you may want to attend via our livestream.  Here are the highlights:
– a CAMELOT symposium, an Istanbul University symposium and a Minecraft symposium
– keynotes by Stylianos Mystakidis of OpenEducationEuropa, JayJay Zifanwe of the University of Western Australia, Gord Holden on immersive technology for learning in schools, Nick Zwarts of the TiLA project
– a film festival, fire side chats, games parks, water sports fun, tours and a party with the Cheerleaders
For the provisional program, please click here
http://tinyurl.com/SLanguages2015
It is free to attend and all of the sessions are being streamed and recorded in Adobe Connect. You do not need an avatar to attend, but if you do join us in SecondLife on EduNation, and if it is your first time to do so, we are happy to assist and look forward to meeting you inworld.
Twitter hashtag: #slang15 

Practical Second Language Acquisition Strategies

People dining outside of a restaurant in Norway on a sunny day.

One of my friends journeyed across the Atlantic for a new job where he’ll need to learn a new language.  As a farewell gift, I thought it would be a good idea to share some of my practical experience in successfully learning two foreign languages while working abroad.  In the past, my masters in teaching English as a second language provided me with some excellent practical strategies.  These are the ones that worked for me.  I hope they help you, too!

1. Eaves-dropping: I learned this from my professor in graduate school, world-famous second language researcher, Rebecca Oxford.  This learner strategy was mentioned as useful by surveyed students in a book she edited, Language Learning Strategies Around the World: Cross-cultural Perspectives (1996).  This would fall under Bandura’s (1977) social learning theory.

2. Silent rehearsal (a.k.a private speech or subvocal rehearsal): I also learned this from Dr. Oxford back in the 90s.

3. Read your favorite children’s book in that new language. For, example, I’ve read The Little Prince in three languages—it never loses its beauty. The simplified language of a children’s book will assist you in becoming a successful reader in the second language. Your familiarity with the storyline will aid your comprehension.

4. Find a tutor to exchange language journals.  Meet with them regularly and informally. Write about what interests you.  For example, I wrote a short form of poetry in free verse in Portuguese. I still have it to this day. Your language journals will become your memorabilia.

5. Immerse yourself in the everyday language communicated on their radio stations, TV channels, local newspaper. and yes, the local pub!

6. Learn the shared words that have crept into their language through pop culture, history, or religion. These are called friendly cognates.  Also, learn the false cognates; they don’t mean the same thing

7. Study, test, test, test yourself on the grammar to develop long-term memory of it. Roediger & Karpicke (2006) found that students in the treatment group of study-test-test-test (STTT), outperformed other students in other treatment groups (SSST and SSSS). This is referred to as the testing effect.

8. Become the extrovert that pushes the envelop to encounter opportunities to practice the language by yourself.  If you hangout with other English language speakers, they will keep you from learning the language.  Try to find locations where no one speaks English.

9. Watch classic children’s movies in the target language. The strategy is similar to #3 but with media, you will hear the language. I remember watching Pinocchio in Spanish when I was in the Peace Corps in Honduras at a movie theater. Nowadays, you can simply select the language settings on your movie streaming devices.

10. Change the language settings on all of your devices. Force yourself to learn the language within a situated task. This is called situational learning.

References

Bandura, A. (1977). Social learning theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Roediger, H. L. III, & Karpicke, J. D. (2006). The power of testing memory: Basic research and implications for educational practice. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 1, 181-210.

(Note: This is a work-in-progress. I’ll keep adding the research basis when I have more time to devote to this.)

Saudi ELLs Digital Gameplay: A Case Study

Note: The following blog post is an excerpt from my qualitative case study with 11 Saudi college-aged students conducted in 2014. Contact me if you’re interested in reading the entire paper.

I conducted a single instrumental case study to understand the digital game usage of the dominant culture of English language learners (ELLs) at my university, as well as their personal attitudes and cultural views toward gaming.  The main purpose was to obtain qualitative data on the bounded system of Saudi college students attending an English language center (ELC) in regards to their gaming habits in order to add to the literature on gaming for educational purposes.  I wanted to see if gaming was a good fit for language learning. My study focused on the intermediate, advanced, and university (bridge) level Saudi ELLs’ usage of digital gaming during and after school in the U.S. and Saudi Arabia. Saudis are the dominant language group not only at this ELC but nationwide.  In fact, the number of Saudi enrollments for English language in the U.S. has grown from 11,116 to 71,026 in the past eight years (Marklein, 2013). Therefore, research on their learning habits and cultural norms are critical for U.S. colleges.

What types of non-educational digital games do Saudi students play after school in Saudi Arabia? Participants played adventure (e.g., Grand Theft Auto, Pepsiman, and Trivian), beauty (e.g., Sally’s Salon), community (e.g. The Sims™), historical (e.g., Assassin’s Creed®), sports (FIFA soccer, Forza Motorsport, and Driver), war (e.g., Battlefield and Call of Duty®), and westerns (e.g., Red Dead).  These games can be played as MMORPGs or offline individually.  Overall, Call of Duty® (COD) was the most popular game among participants.

What type of non-educational digital games do Saudi students play after school in the United States? Some participants reported not having any time to play games after school due to their course load, while others either brought their Xbox or PlayStation consoles with them or purchased them here.  A serious student stated, “I came to study, not to play. Perhaps during break.”  Female students were more likely to play games on Facebook like The Farm or Candy Crush, or apps on their phones like Sally’s Spa. One male student reported playing Lumosity.  Overall, those that played digital games in the U.S. reverted to the aforementioned ones, and COD remained the game of choice.

Do Saudi students believe that they can learn English from playing digital games?  Participants strongly believed that they could learn English from playing digital games.  One student claimed, “I got my language from PlayStation characters, to be honest.  I don’t care about level. I care about history.  I get two things: language and history.” Some were specific and stated that they learned new vocabulary but not grammar or pronunciation. Another participant reported learning English idioms from gaming, “Yes, sometimes, you talk with players from U.S. by using headset, and learn vocabulary from game they don’t teach in ESL class, example, ‘Free for all’.”  A participant alluded to digital gaming teaching him “to speak with English speakers to know what to do or something.”  They also felt that gaming would be a nice way to learn in class.  Many students referenced playing COD with headsets “to talk to lots of friends.”  A female student reported learning English from The Sims even though the characters don’t speak English; they speak Simlish.  She stated, “I learned a lot of words from this game.  Message and icon are in English. I learned a lot from this game because I love it. I played it for three years. I have big family, and they became rich.”  Both males and females reported learning English from commercial digital gaming.

Emergent Themes
Emergent Themes

 

Marklein, M. B. (2013, January 15).  Saudi students flood U.S. colleges for English lessons. USA Today. Retrieved from http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/01/11/saudi-students-english-class/1827465/

Rogers, S., & Johnson, R. B. (2014). Saudi English language learning college students’ digital gameplay: A case study. [Unpublished work].

Learning2gether with Dawn Bikowski discussing gaming and language learning

Thanks to Vance Stevens and Dawn Bikowski for putting together this learning event.

Learning2gether

Download mp3 here: http://learning2getherdotnet.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/2014aug31dawnbikowski-64k.mp3

On Sun Aug 31 Learning2gether was honored to meet with Dawn Bikowski discussing gaming and language learning

Dawn discussed projects she’s working on for teacher training by putting digital gaming into her MA teacher training courses, including pedagogical grammar and teaching reading & writing. She also talked about her experiences as lead author of the teacher’s manual for the digital game Trace Effects, which she did for the U.S. Department of State.

http://www.thedigitalshift.com/2012/12/k-12/u-s-state-department-launches-online-game-to-aid-english-learners/

Dawn mentioned using Aurasma with teacher trainees in her discussion with us. On YouTube you can see many examples of what Aurasma does; e.g., http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBKy-hSedg8 and she explained in greater detail in her talk at the CALL-IS and IATEFL LTSIG webinar on Gaming and Gamification on Jun 14 this year, where she spent 10 minutes talking about Aurasma and how she uses it to help teachers experience games.

TESOL CALL-IS Keynote, Dawn Bikowski
Training Teachers to Think in Games

View original post 342 more words

CALL Community Newsletter: Making Connections Highlights Members

Sandra has been teaching for 20 years. She’s actively involved with the Electronic Village Online (EVO) and currently serves on the coordination team. You may have read some of her CALL-related blogs on TESOL. She freelances for ETS.org and MuchEnough.com. In addition, Sandra runs a virtual nonprofit to help the unemployed find work on BrokeButNotForLong.org.

Affiliation: Teacherrogers Consulting

Years in the CALLIS: 2 years (2009-2011)

Q: Favorite platform?

A: Well, in the past newsletters this referred to the computer operating system. I use Windows XP, but it’s not really my favorite. As an online teacher, I’d like to add that my favorite learning management system platform is eCollege (Pearson).

Q: For you, what is the one indispensable tool/webpage?

A: That depends on my resources for the project. Camtasia Relay for screencasting with a budget because I can edit and add closed-captioning. Screenr.com for screencasting without a budget―no editing feature so you have to do retakes! Screencasters help you meet the standards for quality online instruction, such as virtual tours, lecture capturing, demonstrations, one-on-one specific help, and student presentations and/or intros.
Q: What is your most unexpected source of information about CALL?

A: I didn’t realize that the CALLIS helped create the Principles and Practices of Online Teaching certificate courses and that some of the CALL members actually teach the classes, too.

Q: What was your favorite CALL creation?

A: I’d have to say my e-portfolio blog that I created in Vance Stevens’ Multiliteracies EVO 2010 session. It has become my go-to place for everything I do―my landing strip! I blog about my trials and errors with integrating technology into education and post all of my projects there.

Q: What are you working on now?

A: Besides training moderators as an EVO coordination team member, I’m also mentoring the PLN/PLE moderators for #2012evo. I continue to blog for TESOL, my eportfolio, and my nonprofit. For BrokeButNotForLong, Inc., I’ve decided to migrate all of our content to Google sites like Blogger for Blogging4Broke to save money. We recently received a Google grant for free AdWords, so you should be seeing more of Broke in online searches in a few months. For my own career, I’ve launched Teacherrogers Consulting for Literacy, Language & Social Media Solutions.

Q: What area would you like to see developed/researched?

A: I’ll echo what Andy Bowman said back in 2008: “More computer-like devices created specifically for language learning.” And I want to help create one, so give me a call!

Q: In a sentence, what advice would you give to a newbie starting out in CALL?

A: Take the Electronic Village Online free professional training in January!

Q: What is your funniest CALL-related incident?

A: OK, since Laine (Helaine) Marshall has a good sense of humor, I’d like to describe our first face-to-face encounter. I was running to a session at the TESOL convention in New Orleans when I passed her by. I turned around because I recognized her face from her thumbnail photos on Yahoo IM. She became a great mentor to me during my first attempt at moderating a session for EVO in 2009. However, I wasn’t sure it was her because of her petite stature. Laine had become such a giant in my mind that I didn’t expect her to be so small! I explained this to her, and we both laughed because she didn’t expect me to be so tall.

Link to full article: http://newsmanager.commpartners.com/tesolcallis/issues/2012-03-16/7.html