Creating a global second language acquisition classroom using a virtual environment.
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This study reports on the findings of a case study with English language learners and special education teachers who met in Second Life for conversation practice. The English language learners had a much more positive attitude towards the usability of Second Life for language learners than the special education teachers. Findings suggest that language instructors teaching in a three-dimensional immersive virtual world must be equipped with unique teaching skills. Interaction among conversation partners must be maximized to ensure a successful language learning experience. The lesson design must be carefully planned to take full advantage of the potential of virtual worlds and their relatively authentic and contextualized settings. A virtual world may be conducive to oral fluency enhancement, provided that activities are set up appropriately and there is ample support from the instructor. Extensive challenges inherent to the lesson design and audio quality were identified. Guidelines on how to address these challenges are addressed. These findings will be relevant to other language instructors who plan to use Second Life for oral fluency enhancement.