Friday, 20 April 2007

An English Village

Sounds rather quaint doesn't it... thatched cottages, flower beds, tea on the lawn and cricket on the green??

The (virtual) reality is rather different. The English Village is a SL island dedicated to language education.

What makes English Village interesting (to me) is their use of holodecks to provide a strong scenario-based context for language learning. Want to try out your use of English to navigate an airport and get on a plane - do it in a simulated airport. The resulting approach is referred to as 'holoteaching'.

It's a neat idea, and one that appears to have been implemented very nicely. Take a look.

Their Web site provides more information, and Fire Centaur, the owner of English Village, also maintains a blog about his activities.

I'm not sure what technology has been used to build the holodecks, but a quick Google search turned up a commercially available holodeck tool from Inside this World.

Another thing that interested me is that they have used a competition to generate new content for their holodecks. It'll be interesting to see how successful this has been. I'm very tempted to try the same sort of approach on Eduserv Island.

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