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Factors Affecting Learner Collaboration in 3D Virtual Worlds

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by English as a Foreign Language Interest Section | 19 Nov 2018
Resource Description: Learners’ development of collaboration skills has important implications for their language learning (Donato, 2004), fluency development (Huensch & Tracy-Ventura, 2017), and the development of interactional skills (Johnson and Johnson, 2004). When working together towards achieving a common goal, learners use language to mutually construct new knowledge by sharing their own ideas and accepting contributions from other participants (Donato, 2004). 3D virtual worlds (VWs) can provide learners with the opportunities to collaborate through multiple communication channels, which may facilitate language development (Meskill, 2005). Drawing on the results of the study on learner collaboration in 3D VWs (Kozlova, forthcoming) when students used an audio channel to interact with their peers and a text-based channel to make notes on a collaboration board, this presentation discusses the factors affecting learner collaboration. These factors include (1) learners and instructors’ familiarity with 3D VWs, (2) learners’ familiarity with the format of the learning activity, (3) learners’ experience with the spontaneous use of the second language, and (4) instructors’ use of pedagogical techniques that facilitated collaboration. Although this presentation draws on the findings of the research in 3D VWs, implications of the findings to face-to-face classroom will also be discussed.

Iryna Kozlova, Ph.D., is a lecturer in the TESOL Program, Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania. Her research interests include the use of second/foreign language spoken discourse in the classroom and in casual conversation, application of technology for second/foreign language teaching and learning, task-based learning, and teacher training. She has taught Applied Linguistics, ESL, and Russian in the United States and internationally. 
Audience: Elementary, Secondary, Adult, University, Teacher Training
Audience Language Proficiency: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
TESOL Interest Section: English as a Foreign Language