We now run regular sessions in Virtual Worlds, thanks to our lovely sponsors.
The idea is that we are able meet up with each other in Virtual Worlds and explore the learning opportunities, with a bit of help from Lynne. Second Life and Open Sim really add an extra dimension to your online learning experience.
Learn English on Second Life
You will need a Second Life account, with the most up to date viewer. If you don't have a Second Life account you'll need to download the software and follow the instructions online (it's free). You will also need a bit of patience. Second Life teaches patience, but as someone once said, "...technical issues are just another learning opportunity".
What do you need to have?
- The technical requirements for Second Life are quite high. You must use have a computer with a good Internet connection (the faster the better) and a good quality computer with sound card and graphics card.
- To hear any conversations you will need a good pair of headphones (or computer speakers).
- To speak you will need a good quality microphone with a reasonable sound card (you can now buy USB headsets with a built in sound card).
What do you need to do?
- To join in with anything I run on Second Life (apart from the English for Beginners session) you have to join the Learn English forum and be in my contact list on Second Life.
- You will need to install the free software and set up your user name and avatar (follow the instructions on their web site). I cannot give technical support for the installation and running of the software, but they can.
- Practise walking in a straight line, and some of the more complicated things you can do in Second Life on the Orientation Island. An hour or two spent there, will save you a lot of frustration later.
- Make sure your settings are correct before you start. You can find help with your voice settings here.
How do you access the voice sessions?
Only members of the forum can apply to join any of the voice sessions on Second Life. You have to do this via the Learn English forum.
Send me a contact / friend request in the forum and then when I have accepted your request you can send me a private message with your Second Life id (please do not send it to support or in the friend request).
I will then send you a contact request via Second Life and once you have replied to it (in Second Life), I will be able to meet you in SL and invite you to join the English Book Club group in Second Life, that will give you access to my Second Life house. Some of the events are held at the house, but many involve visiting other regions.
You will need to keep the house in your landmarks on Second Life. If you "leave" the group, it means you are no longer a member there and won't be able to get back in.
When are the sessions run?
There's something happening in Second Life 24/7.
I run sessions on Second Life for around 3 hours a week.
You are not limited to only taking part in my sessions.
What times do the regular sessions run?
There is a calendar of times here. All times are *CET = Central European Time. The calendar also shows when I am away, or on holiday, so it's a good idea to check regularly.
What is CET? I live on mainland Europe, so I work on Berlin time. You can click here to calculate the time in your city/country, www.timeanddate.com/worldclock - choose Berlin for the time to convert from and the city that represents your time zone to convert to your local time.
What do we do in the sessions?
In the book club on Mondays we read a book (no surprises there) and after a little break so that Lynne can have her caffeine fix, we also do a bit of role playing or even some drama. The great thing about Second Life is that it's more than just sitting around, you move about and interact with other participants and the objects around you.
On Wednesdays I run a Back to Basics session on the island of Virtlantis (see above). Here I will take you through the absolute basics - from the alphabet to how to use those tricky little nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs and prepositions - it's an audio / visual experience.
On Fridays we meet up to explore other places in Second Life. From Virtual Britain to Virtual Zanzibar, you can expect just about anything, and if you find a cool place you can be our guide (G and M rated regions only).
How to contact us in Second Life
Once you are a contact in Second Life, you will be able to leave messages in world. I don't live in SL permanently, but the messages will be stored for when I next log on, and I will usually reply to any reasonable request.
!Note - The usual rules and guidelines apply.
Of course you are not limited to my sessions on Second Life. If I am not there at a time to suit you find a friendly sim with other people to talk to, it can be in a social setting, like a pub in Dublin, or a park in London, but there are also areas of Second Life dedicated to language learning, and some of them are free. For example: Virtlantis, there you will find a lively language learning community. Check out Graham Davies' Virtual World Language Learning links for more information.
We ocassionally record the sessions for streaming on the web.