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Second Life as a language learning tool by Samur


Second Life as a langauge learning tool by Samur


Review in progress

  • Title and author(s) of the article – SECOND LIFE AS A LANGUAGE LEARNING TOOL (EFL) by Yavuz SAMUR, PhD Candidate Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Blacksburg, VA, 24060, US
  • APA reference  – Samur, Y. (2011) Second Life as a language learning tool (EFL) Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education (12) 3 Turkey
  • how you found the article and what keywords you used – through Google Scholar Alert, which was delivered to my mailbox
  • what kind of article it is – conference paper
  • all the reasons that you think it is an academic and/or credible article – 
    • the title is succinct, straight to the point
    • the author gives an email address and affiliation – Yavuz SAMUR, PhD Candidate Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University 401 Fairfax Rd. Apt. 522, Blacksburg, VA, 24060, USA Tel: +1 540 449 30 17 Emails: or
    • the abstract gives a clear overview of the article (what to expect)

“Over the last few years there has been an increased interest in Multi-User Virtual Environments (MUVEs), or virtual worlds, by instructional designers and developers. One of many instructional activities taking place in Second Life (SL) is language learning for English-as-a-foreign-language (EFL) students. Gartner Inc. (2007) says 80 percent of active internet users will have a ―Second Life (SL)‖ in the virtual world by the end of 2011. In this paper, the researches and use of SL in language instruction is examined and some suggestions are offered to both instructors and designers on how they can leverage of SL especially in higher education settings. In addition to its advantages, the disadvantages are going to be discussed in this paper as well in order to approach this virtual world from an objective angle and give some really experience based ideas to the instructors and designers. Virtual worlds especially Second Life is first briefly summarized and then how SL can be used for language learning. Next the current situation of using SL in language learning and as a tool for practice with other language learners is examined. Then some advantages and drawbacks are mentioned. The paper is going to be concluded with some useful recommendations to the instructors and designers of instructional application of SL for effective teaching, learning and practice. This paper describes that how MUVEs, primarily focusing on SL, can affect EFL programs and learners. Therefore students who learn English as a foreign language in higher education settings and who are using SL are going to be the main target of this review.”

    • the introduction then builds on the above overview, and presents the two research questions and the target audience of the paper:

“The purpose of the study is to answer these two questions below:

 How are educators, practitioners and learners using SL for the purpose of language learning and instruction?
 How can SL be utilized/designed better for language learning/learners?”

    • a review of other papers relevant to the topic ( a literature review) is adequate in terms of the number of references provided
    • a description of what the research was and what the researchers did – (in progress)
    • the results of what they did – (in progress)
    • a discussion about what the results mean – (in progress)
    • a conclusion – (in progress)
    • a list of referencesis sufficient
  • how well it fits thestructure of an academic article’ – (in progress)
  • how many references it has – 11
  • how many citations it has (if you can find out) – still trying to figure out how to do this
  • the url of the article –
  • say whether you are interested in properly reading the article or not (and give some reasons!) – I’ve already read it actually as it’s exactly what I’m looking for! In fact, I’m planning to use the two research questions it asks in order to conduct my research, well the proposal first. This paper sets the scene for my research topic. It’s great to see that an expert has already done his research in determining that not enough research has been done in learning languages in SL and then carried out a research to contribute to the ever-increasing pool of knowledge:
    “Despite its great potential to augment language instruction, very little research has been conducted on the use of SL in the context of EFL learning – specifically in contexts where English is not spoken in everyday life but is often taught in the classroom (Wang, Hongbo, Fangli, & Qiaoqiao, 2009). Hew and Cheung (2010) summarized the various settings in which past research on virtual worlds had been conducted. They found that a majority of previous studies were carried out in polytechnics and university settings (69%) and they categorized past research on virtual worlds into eight different disciplines of study including language (e.g. English as a foreign language). One of the least researches done in virtual worlds is language studies (6.3%) which support our claim.”

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