Language Learning in a Shared Space

Abstract

We present a state-of-art technology called “WaaZam” developed at the Media Lab, Massachusetts Technology of Institute (MIT). WaaZam is an application focused on supporting collaboration and interactivity through creative play. WaaZam allows users from a distance to interact with each other in a merged virtual space, and allows users to customize the environments or the contexts seamlessly. We propose that WaaZam can provide a powerful language learning space where users can interact, collaborate, and play “directly” in a virtually merged shared space. First, we will present the general framework of WaaZam. Second, we will present language learning scenarios with WaaZam. The scenarios that we will present include: (i) those where users exchange cultural information in the target language (the language that users are learning); (ii) those where users “act out” in the target language; and (iii) those where users create their story collaboratively. We contend that WaaZam provides a great learning environment that fosters users’ “interactivity”, “collaboration,” and “creativity,” all of which are critical to language learning. Third, we will demonstrate how easily WaaZam allows users to customize their learning environments. WaaZam allows users to select the content or the contexts that they want to learn seamlessly. Here, we will discuss the importance of personalization for learning language. Last, we will present our roadmaps for user studies. The video of WaaZam is available here: http://labcast.media.mit.edu/?p=274



Author Information
Takako Aikawa, Massachusetts Technology of Institute, United States
Seth Hunter, Massachusetts Technology of Institute, United States

Paper Information
Conference: ACSET2013
Stream: Education

This paper is part of the ACSET2013 Conference Proceedings (View)
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