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Avatar Languages Blog

Archive for the ‘EVENTS’ Category

Learning with technology – teaching without (CoTESOL presentation)

Monday, August 9th, 2010

CoTESOL has accepted my proposal to give a presentation at the annual convention in November; this is great news. I will be talking about how learners can be supported with their mobile learning, while the lessons themselves need not involve much (if any) technology.

Here is the brief description that is in the program…

How can teachers support mobile learning without using technology during class? The presentation explores how students can bring real-life, linguistic experiences into class and how teachers can help the students learn from these experiences. Through exploring case studies, you will gain both practical suggestions for activities and guiding pedagogical principles.

And here is the longer proposal…

This presentation demonstrates how students can use mobile devices to enhance their language learning without using technology during formal lessons.

The presenter reflects on his own language learning and his English teaching to show how mobile devices (cameras, MP3-players and cell-phones) can be used to record experiences beyond the classroom and then explore them linguistically in-class.

Students bring their everyday experiences to class, such as MP3 recordings of their real-life conversations, photos of menus/signs and videos/photos of everyday events. The lessons use language analysis to help students better understand these out-of-class experiences and simulations to prepare them for similar situations in the future.

This approach supports out-of-class (informal) learning and focuses on “just-in-time” learning. Students gain key skills such as ‘noticing’ new language and they become more autonomous learners.

The presentation focuses on real and practical activities for teachers to easily apply in their own lessons; yet it is also firmly grounded in pedagogy, including Dogme, dialogic learning, PhotoVoice, Task-based learning, and simulations.

The presentation demonstrates how technology can easily be used for language learning without the teacher or student needing to be familiar with any particular technology: the output, the dialogue and the learning take center stage.

My slot is at 1.30pm on Friday November 12 in the “West D” room (hotel plan at bottom of this PDF). The conference program is already online.

CoTESOL (The Colorado Affiliate of Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages) will hold its 34th Annual Fall Convention and Exhibition on November 12-13, 2010 at the Red Lion Hotel Denver Southeast, 3200 S Parker Rd, Aurora CO 80014.

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If you are going to be at CoTESOL, please do let me know. I am looking forward to getting to know other language educators in Colorado.

Dogme for Virtual World Language Learning (Presentation at SLanguages 2009)

Sunday, July 5th, 2009

At SLanguages 2009 I gave a presentation on Dogme language teaching and its relevance to virtual world language education. Here is the presentation as text…

I have been using virtual worlds such as Second Life for approximately two years and during this time I have done some interesting and engaging activities with students. However, I have also being looking for methodologies to draw upon to ensure that these activities are pedagogically sound and beneficial to the students’ learning. More recently I have taken a closer look at Dogme ELT as a pedagogy to guide these virtual world activities and Dogme has stood out as an approach that has much to offer virtual world language learning because of its focus on real life communication as the basis for developing language competencies.


Second Life as a Social Learning Environment (Presentation at SLanguages 2009)

Sunday, July 5th, 2009

One of our students, Pierre Moussy, has been using the 3d virtual world, Second Life, to gain conversation practice. His presentation below was given at the SLanguages conference (for language education in virtual worlds); you can listen to Pierre’s presentation and follow his PowerPoint. Pierre’s talk is especially interesting because it gives us some insights into how languages learners actually use second life to talk with others in a foreign language. It also shows us how they benefit from such experiences and how language teachers can better guide their students so that they gain the most from virtual worlds.


Augmented Reality Language Learning – Discussion in Second Life

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

Last Thursday I met with other language educators in Second Life to discuss Augmented Reality Language Learning and in particular the ideas and suggestions I presented in the “Augmented Reality Language Learning – virtual worlds meet m-learning” blog post last week.


Photo of Dennis’ Villa in Second Life (image by Sanja).

Carol Rainbow kindly recorded the audio of the meeting and you can listen to it on Blip.TV or download/play this mp3 recording of the discussion about Augmented Reality Language Learning in Second Life.

The event took place at Dennis’ villa on EduNation – so thank you Dennis for hosting the meeting. And thank you to all for attending and making it such a interesting conversation.

I think you can only hear 3 voices (most participated via text-chat within Second Life) and they are of Dennis Newson, Scott Thornbury and me.

SLanguages 2009: SL as a Social Learning Environment

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

SLanguages 2009 will take place on 8 & 9 May. I will be giving a presentation together with Pierre Moussy, a student at Avatar Languages. Pierre will be presenting his experiences with practicing his English in Second Life, whereas I will focus on how language educators can best guide language learners with using virtual worlds to practice their languages. Here is the abstract…

EduNation III Amphitheatre

SLanguages 2009: Dogme ELT for Virtual Worlds

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

SLanguages 2009 will take place on 8 & 9 May.  I will be giving a presentation about the Dogme ELT movement and how its approach to language teaching has a lot to offer language educators using virtual worlds.  Here is the abstract…

EduNation III

Jeremy Harmer in 3D – Interview in Second Life

Monday, April 20th, 2009

Jeremy Harmer, author of many ELT books, will be talking in Second Life on Sunday 3 May at 18.00 (GMT), which is 11.00 PST.

Jeremy Harmer

Jeremy Harmer gave a presentation last year in Second Life (as part of the EduCation@EduNation series) about how teachers perceive their work and their teaching practice. It will be interesting to see his thoughts about Second Life language education in this interview with Nik Peachey..


Scott Thornbury in Second Life

Monday, April 20th, 2009

Scott Thornbury, co-founder of the Dogme ELT movement along with Luke Meddings, will be talking in Second Life on Sunday 26 April at 18.00 (GMT), which is 11.00 PST.

Scott Thornbury

Dogme and Second Life are a very interesting combination and have a lot to offer each other. It will be extremely interesting to listen to Scott Thornbury’s comments on virtual worlds.



Friday, March 13th, 2009

There is online conference coverage of the 43rd IATEFL Conference. Here is what the website says about it…


The Cardiff Online website is now live at:


SLanguages 2009 – Presentation

Sunday, January 4th, 2009

The presentation for SLanguages 2009 is ready – it will be a great event and I am looking forward to it already…

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