Issues and Concerns in VW Learning

royal-opera-house-sl_001Several issues regarding VW participation and learning are concerning. The first set can be called technical concerns for both facilitators and users. A standard issue is platform difficulty and a steep learning curve if this is a new teaching environment. In addition, there are platform performance and technical disrupters such lag. Other issues center around digital native vs. digital immigrant, non-commercial vs. commercial areas. Skepticism for professional ESL teachers center around possible gung-ho adoptions of lessons, an undefined SL learning curve due to a lack of clear objectives since most of the learning arises from self-determined experiences. Other issues center around confidentiality (recording chat), certified vs. non-certified teachers who have various linguistic backgrounds, reliability, and other collaboration difficulties, plus no apparent dominant standard such as American, British or ‘Globlish.’

Error corrections in VW’s are another minefield. Esl facilitators must think about active vs. passive correction, dealing with typos and missing punctuation, text manipulation, the absence of dynamic text, net and SL lingo which features abbreviated vs. non-abbreviated language.VW students favor pro-text, be anti-voice vs. pro-voice, anti-text, or adopters of both. Also, multiple language levels, needs, learning styles must be factored into the VW activities against the background of sometimes problematic concurrent communication with natives and non-natives. Determining teaching format and ideal group size (1-to-1, small, 5-10, large, 10 +) and set-up of groupings can be a challenge as the VW landscape is a fluid one. Also, when designing VW activities in-world content such as grammar exercises copyright vs. creative commons need to be vetted.