Apprendere le lingue nei mondi virtuali 3D
Can the 3D virtual worlds constitute a useful resource for language teaching still today? Do ‘immersivity’ and ‘embodiment’ really favour experiential language learning in a constructivist perspective? The aim of this paper is to look for an answer to these and other questions concerning the role of technology in language learning, taking into account some recent research in the field of virtual world education relating to an international project. The strengths and weaknesses of 3D technology emerge especially from the results of some surveys aimed at identifying what university students think of Second Life language courses: on the one hand, motivation, creativity and active involvement of the learner; on the other, the risk of distraction and dependence as well as some technical difficulties and usability problems.