A Virtual Space for Children to Meet and Practice Chinese

In IJAIED 25 (2)

Publication information

271-290

Embodied cognition, Kinect, Language and cultural learning, Virtual environment

Abstract

Second language acquisition after the students have learned their first language is a unique process. One major difference between learning a foreign language and one’s mother tongue is that second language learning is often facilitated with digital media, and in particular, through interacting with computers. This project is aimed at leveraging computer game technologies and Microsoft Kinect camera to create virtual learning environments suitable for children to practice their language and culture skills. We present a unique virtual environment that contextualizes the practice and engages the learners with narratives, encourages group work and leverages the power of embodied cognition in language learning. Our system has been deployed in an afterschool program for children from 6 to 8 years old. We report our evaluation results and reflections on the deployment process, followed by discussion and future work.