56 paper

Integrating culture in the second language curriculum through a three-dimensional virtual reality environment

Sachiyo Sekiguchi
Faculty of Environmental Information
Keio University

Paul Gruba, Abdul Rahman Al-Asmari
School of Languages and Linguistics
The University of Melbourne

Networked computer technologies have a strong potential for enhancing second language (L2) learning in the modern classroom. Three-Dimensional Virtual Reality Environments (3D VREs), in particular, provide features to support student motivation, socialization and interaction. These include, for example, the ability for L2 learners to present as avatars, build virtual structures and interact with others in conversational modes. In this preliminary qualitative case study, we examine the perception of culture through online exchanges between both Japanese and English learners within the Virtual Babel project. Critical reflections and an agenda for further research conclude our paper.

Keywords: culture and technology, teaching and learning strategies, learning communities