Tuesday, 21 September 2010
Monday, 20 September 2010
With a general aim of exploring and experimenting with Second Life as a environment for interacting and learning languages, Avalon (http://avalonlearning.eu/ ) involves ten full partners as well as associates in a multilateral and transversal European project lasting for two years. The partners have created and tested activities, developed scenarios, designed and run language courses, and provided models and best practices. All activities take place in Second Life. Luisa Panichi and Mats Deutschmann focus on one course as an example during the presentation: a debating course (English B1-2). Second life is applied for collaborating with other cultures and for communicating effectively. In this virtual world the learners can engage in small group work. Given the ability to move physically allows for e.g. for prepositions to become embedded in action. The course is designed as a debating competition, with mixed cross-cultural groups, and topics related to Internet culture and online education. Would you like to participate in learning Spanish – do you have students who are learning French? Get in touch with Luisa Panichi! Would you like to take part in a course for teachers – learning about and through Second Life? Again, contact Luisa Panichi!
See also http://slurl.com/secondlife/AVALON%20Learning/81/226/41 for more. Get in touch with Luisa: firstname.lastname@example.org, who is the local project leader - to join the teacher space. All are welcome to join!
Wednesday, 15 September 2010
Tuesday, 14 September 2010
Monday, 13 September 2010
Thanks to Dominique Macaire and all her team for making this a truly remarkable and memorable conference. The Virtual Strand team (Peppi Taalas, Mirjam Hauck and I) are especially grateful to Lesley Graham for maintaining the flow of @Eurocall2010 tweets - and thanks to all the other twitterati who commented on the keynotes, parallel sessions and social events. All the Twitter tweets marked with the hashtag #eurocall2010 have been fed into the CoveritLive windows in this blog and can be replayed at infinitum (well, for as long as Blogger and CoveritLive allow us to). I am leaving the last CoveritLive window (Day 4) open for the time being so that it will continue to pick up tweets and comments. It's located in this blog at:
Here are all the other Virtual Strand links:
All the best, and I hope to see you at EUROCALL 2011 in Nottingham.
Sunday, 12 September 2010
Thank you all for a great conference experience both F2F and virtually! See you in Nottingham in 2011 (31 Aug - 3 Sept).
The VS team
Saturday, 11 September 2010
Friday, 10 September 2010
Nicolas Guichon opened the symposium by a very relevant and important topic: how to give and receive feedback. He walked us through their ongoing research project in Lyon where they are using a video annotation system for student feedback and reflection. Central questions for the developmet of feedback practices: Timing of the feedback, explicitness of the feedback and frequency of the feedback. The context is a 45-hour training for becoming teachers in online teaching. The course is a joint course with students at Berkley. Without going into very much detail, the results and impressions at this stage indicate that this way of giving feedback to the students seems to work as it is not disruptive as it doesn't have to be given at a certain moment midst the flow of conversation and it is also more precise as it will point to an exact situation for the students to reflect upon. The annotation tool itself has two different elements/tools: interaction room, retrospection room. Links to the project and to Nicolas are:
Kristi Jauregi and Ton Koenraad presented the NIFLAR (Networked Interaction in Foreign Language Acquisition and Research) project which is a 3D virtual worlds environment for language learning/teacher education. The project itself is looking into the added value of WWC and virtual worlds for intercultural communicative and competence in L2. With a lightning speed Kristi presented the results from their study and my exhausted brain could get only so little of the whole that I hope that Kristi or Ton will build on this part in the comments... It seems that these kinds of learning activities do make the pre-service teachers to become more aware , reflective and critical of the pedagogical potential and problems of these tools. http://niflar.ning.com
Gary Motteram continued the flow with the Av alon project and talked about distance language education on the MUVE (Multi-user Virtual Environment). He addressed interesting learner issues in any distance course, such as isolation, expectations, community, cultures, expererience and identity. He also reminded us that online communities are not a new thing, what is new are the visual, spatial environments where these communities interact. The lenses through which they approach the development a community of practice for teachers: The domain, the community and the practice. The teachers appreciate the course very much and feedback has been extremely positive. An imporant point is also in that the CoP hasn't got a time limit, people can keep in touch and keep on working and talking, even after the formal part is over. For more information, go to:
Questions from the audience dealt with authenticity of the activities, differences in skills development with asynchronous vs. synchronous communication,
To be continued...
To get back to your hotel, you can either take the tram again, or one of the shuttle buses that will be operating from midnight until 2 am.
Don't forget your dancing shoes!
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In session 3 there was another presentation on mobile learning, dealing with a more course specific project: Using mobile devices for listening and speaking practice in languages: The L120 Mobile Project, by Demouy, Eardley, Kukulska-Hulme and Rhodri. The questions raised here were dealing with investigating contexts in which students engage in mobible activites when learning French. They were evaluating the benefits in order to better understand how to integrate interactive activitites since mobile phones are changing people's learning habits. The project described two groups of students working with listening activities through audio clips. This, students found very useful since they could practice pronunciation and intonation.
Thursday, 9 September 2010
Well, if you do have a couple of hours free and you want to see a bit of Bordeaux, the best thing to do is to go down to the quays, wander through the Quartier St Pierre, the Quartier Saint Michel and the Chartrons. You'll find plenty to see.
Don't miss the Miroir d'Eau on the quays.
If shopping is your thing, the rue Sainte Catherine is the place to go, or the Cours de l'Intendance, or the rue Porte Dijeau.
This Yann Arthus Bertrand exhibition is on at the Base Sous-Marine. Worth a visit!
And you've probably already noticed the Bordeaux Cow Parade.
Wednesday, 8 September 2010
Tuesday, 7 September 2010
I hope that everyone is arriving / has arrived ok!
Just to let you know that I will be giving a poster presentation on VLEs, Blended Learning and MFL on thursday afternoon....so if you are interested in these topics, please come and speak to me....it will be great to share views and experiences.
Thursday, 2 September 2010