Student Perception of Open and Mobile Space Designs for Autonomous English Language Learning in Second Life

Dean Anthony Fabi Gui


This study follows from previously published studies by the author based on language learning designs for English technical writing and through MMOs, and completed Teaching & Learning projects focusing on collaboration and interdisciplinary learning. It reports on the results of a survey completed by Year One undergraduate students from an English for University Studies (EUS) subject at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (HKPU), regarding their perception towards—and interest in—using Second Life to supplement their language learning. Thirty-one students responded to the survey which asked participants whether they would be receptive to the idea of using a virtual mobile or outdoor café to supplement their English language learning. Results indicated that most students (90%) liked the idea of learning in a virtual cafe because of its relaxing and familiar atmosphere as well as the potential to interact with other virtual learners; however, about half the respondents (40%) noted that they would consider a different design for the learning space. While the response rate was relatively small, this study reframes the characteristics of autonomy and language learning centers, and additionally is an area of independent language learning which has been little investigated, particularly in an Asian context. 


Hong Kong; language learning; learning space design; Second Life; self-access

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