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The Reality of Virtual Worlds: Pros and Cons of Their Application to Foreign Language Teaching


Interactive Learning Environments Volume 23, Number 4, ISSN 1049-4820


This article presents our experience of testing the OpenSim platform as a tool in teaching French to 108 tourism students at Universidad Rey Juan Carlos (Madrid, Spain). The article begins with some theoretical reflections on the behaviour of the student when using a virtual platform by means of an avatar, and with our observations of how this doubling of identity is actually the greatest asset of virtual worlds when we intend to apply them to teaching (1. Introduction). Then we move on to present our goals and method of work (2. Aims and methodology) and to analyse the development of the virtual space or sim, setting out the teaching strategies that were employed in each of the islands we created, and which correspond to reading comprehension, listening comprehension and written expression (3. Metaverse design). In order to assess the language learning results, we also devised tests throughout the experiment, which were repeated one month later. The assessment shows that the process of language acquisition is positive (4. Results analysis). Finally, we demonstrate that the rise of virtual worlds has been backed up by psycholinguistic factors, but at the same time their applicability and sustainability depend on technical aspects and very especially on theoretical and pedagogical tenets which are still to be drawn up (5. Conclusions).


Garrido-Iñigo, P. & Rodríguez-Moreno, F. (2015). The Reality of Virtual Worlds: Pros and Cons of Their Application to Foreign Language Teaching. Interactive Learning Environments, 23(4), 453-470. Retrieved March 23, 2023 from .

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