Using Unity3D, I have developed and published experimental research where learners were immersed in various virtual worlds that I have designed with Karina Collentine. My development efforts were:

  • Building and skinning all 3D models and avatars, including animations.
  • Writing the C# code that underlies the students’ interactions in the virtual world.
  • Writing the client and server software (i.e., javaScript, PHP, SQL) that recorded what students did in the 3D world.

The virtual worlds allow language learners to be immersed in a culturally-appropriate place (e.g., a marketplace) and interact with avatars using the second language as they solve some non-linguistic task (e.g., find a lost treasure, identify a thief), listen to natural discourse in Spanish, and receive reactionary feedback on their linguistic choices within the virtual world (e.g., a frown to show an offensive choice, a smile to show a correct one).

Here are some videos that give you a feel for the experience that some of the Spanish students had.