the international language association

AVALON

The project AVALON (Access to Virtual and Action Learning Live Online) focuses on facilitating language learning in virtual 3D worlds.

Avalon Learning has been created under the ongoing European project AVALON for the design, testing and implementation of language teaching and learning in virtual worlds. Avalon is a 2 year multilateral project funded under the EU EACEA Life Long Learning Programme (LLP) and runs until December 2010. The 26 participating European partners include 10 state funded universities and 16 other public and private organisations operating in the following areas: language education, teacher training, intercultural training, language testing and certification, online education, publishing, business communication and networking, design of 3D environments and language learning in virtual worlds.

The project is a transversal programme which targets language learners from the Leonardo da Vinci, Erasmus and Gruntdvig communities. Not only does the project aim to create a platform in which these diverse learning communities can come together but it also has a particular interest in providing access to technology and language learning to learners in remote locations. The ultimate aim of the project is to create both a virtual environment and a sustainable community of practitioners and users which will outlive the project itself.

The free client programme of Second Life®, for example, is a 3D virtual world accessible via the Internet and which enables its users to interact with each other through ‘Avatars'. An ‘avatar' is the graphical representation of a computer user representing himself/herself or alter ego and communication with others is possible via both voice and text chat.

Some of the benefits include the provision of online synchronous communication for linguistic communities which are dispersed over vast geographical areas, the co/re-construction of cultural and linguistic identity, opportunities for authentic language contact between native, heritage and L2 learners, the unparalleled creative dimension of the platform in particular in terms of individual and collaborative building and learner movement and freedom within the environment. For more information visit the project website www.avalonlearning.eu

If you wish to get involved in the discussion, please visit the project NING site

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