You have probably seen people sitting before a PC with their headfones on and murmuring something into the mike. If so, most probably they are playing a simulation game such as Second Life. If you have played such games you know that it is a three dimensional space, where each player has their avatar and is able to interact with other players while completing tasks and missions.

When I downloaded the software, registered, chose my avatar and started to play the game the first thing I wanted to understand was how people felt when finding themselves in a virtual reality. You probably experienced the same: it is a strange feeling as you start identifying yourself with your avatar from the very first second on the game and when you fail in the game you percieve it as personal failure, and when you fly in the game you feel like you are flying. When you interact with people and talk to them this is the same as you met those people in real. The only difference is that there you are safe: say, you will never get drowned for real if you sink to the sea bottom in the game.

Well, how to relate it to teaching? No clues? I had none before I read an article about the virtual reality classroom!!! This is something so strange and unknown for Armenian reality. So, let me tell you what it is like. You meet your students face to face to get to know each other and to explain what they are supposed to expecet and to do in the vidtual classroom. They meet in the space at the settled time and conduct their lesson, only they have their avatars instead on themselves. This can create unlimited opportunities for many different academic subjects. For instance the teacher and the students may travel to different countries, find themselves in the WHite House talking to the governement member, take different professions and work in different places.

I have a wish to implement this in English teaching. But before that there is a lot of work to be done, starting from exploring all the opportunities that the game creates and finishing with getting studensts to effectively use this yet not completely explored educational tool.


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