Language and Cultural training builds the skills and confidence of learners in a target language and culture. Through the use of interactive virtual environments students are presented with scenarios that require them to respond appropriately.
VBS3 provides an immersive 3D world for individual training. It uses typical gaming controls (joysticks, steering wheels etc) that most students are familiar with and contains a large library of accurately modelled military equipment. The included SQF scripting language can be used to trigger and control events as students progress through the virtual environment. The simulation can be paused to allow time for discussion of teaching points.
Future options for extensions to VBS include add-ons such as Alelo's VRP® MIL and Discovery Machines behaviour modelling suite. (see videos)
Faceware is software that maps the facial expressions of a role player to a computer generated avatar in real time. This allows a Subject Matter Expert to role play a variety of characters. The software can be used to generate video content or support real-time role play. Through our Avatar Augmented Role Play project the ADC Simulation Centre is working to bring live role play into virtual environments.
Alelo's Tactical Interaction (TI) Simulator provides a 3D virtual world simulation to instruct and assess language and culture skills. Learning scenarios are set in a virtual environment where common interactions are played at progressive levels from cooperation to hostility. Students can select from a list of phrases in order to hear correct pronunciation or practice speaking and get immediate feedback through the responses of the virtual characters.
Language Learning in 3D Virtual World. eleed, Iss. 8.; Hiroki Ishizuka, Kiyoshi Akama; Hokkaido University of Education
ESL Teacher Training in 3D Virtual Worlds; Iryna Kozlova*, Dmitri Priven**; Carleton University*, Algonquin College**
Towards a Research Agenda for the Use of ThreeDimensional Virtual Worlds in Language Learning; Mark Peterson; Kyoto University
Virtual World Users Evaluated According to Environment Design, Task Based and Affective Attention Measures; Breen Sweeney and Anne Adams; The Open University, published by the British Computer Society 2009
The Cultural Influence Model: When Accented Natural Language Spoken by Virtual Characters Matters; Peter Khooshabeh, Morteza Dehghani, Angela Nazarian, Jonathan Gratch; University of Southern California
An Exploration of Three-Dimensional (3D) Virtual Worlds through ESL/EFL Teachers’ Perspectives in Second Life; Ozan Varli ; Albany State University of New York
Games in Language Learning: Opportunities and Challenges; Robert Godwin-Jones; Virginia Commonwealth University
SpatialEase: Learning Language through Body Motion; Darren Edge*, Kai-Yin Cheng**, Michael Whitney***; Microsoft Research Asia-Beijing China*, National Taiwan University-Taipei Taiwan**, University of North Carolina Charlotte NC, USA***
http://avalon.humanities.manchester.ac.uk - AVALON project website, virtual worlds for language education
Language Learning & Technology - A refereed journal for second and foreign language scholars and educators.
http://www.alelo.com - Alelo, makers of virtual language trainers
http://www.bisimulations.com - Bohemia Interactive, makers of VBS
http://facewaretech.com/company/case-studies/ - Various projects that utilise Faceware
http://secondlife.com/destinations/learning/ - Second Life Educational Destinations
Cultural and Cognitive Combat Immersive Trainer (C3IT) - University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies