Living in Second Life and Learning a Second Language: A Study on English Learning for Chinese Residents in Second Life


This paper examines Chinese residents’ experience in learning English in the 3-D virtual world of Second Life (SL). With an introduction to the current English as a Second Language (ESL) education in China, ESL students’ demand for practice, I analyzed an online BBS created and maintained by Chinese SL residents and conducted interviews in SL to argue that there is an urgent need among Chinese ESL learners to practice their English with native English speakers and SL can function as a platform to allow Chinese ESL learners practice with residents from all over the world with help and support provided by their online learning communities such as BBS or SL friends groups.

Share and Cite:

Wu, D. (2012) Living in Second Life and Learning a Second Language: A Study on English Learning for Chinese Residents in Second Life. Creative Education, 3, 520-526. doi: 10.4236/ce.2012.34079.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Atkinson, T. (2008). Second Life for educators: Myths and realities. TechTrends, 52, 26-29.
[2] DeWinter, J., & Vie, S. (2008). Press enter to “say”: Using Second Life to teach critical media literacy. Computers and Composition, 25, 313-322. doi:10.1016/j.compcom.2008.04.003
[3] Diehl, W. C., & Prins, E. (2008). Unintended outcomes in Second Life: Intercultural literacy and cultural identity in a virtual world. Language and Intercultural Communication, 8, 101-118. doi:10.1080/14708470802139619
[4] Gao, X. (2006). A tale of Blue Rain Café: A study on the online narrative construction about a community of English learners on the Chinese mainland. System, 35, 259-270. doi:10.1016/j.system.2006.12.004
[5] Gee, J. P. (2003). High score education. Wired, 11. URL (last checked 5 December 2008).
[6] Jarmon, L., Trahagan, T., & Mayrath, M. (2008). Understanding project-based learning in Second Life with a pedagogy, training, and assessment trio. Educational Media International, 45, 157-176. doi:10.1080/09523980802283889
[7] Li, Y. (2004). Investigating “English corners” in tertiary campuses: Communication modes and self-identify construction. In Y. Gao (Ed.), Social psychology of English learning by Chinese college students: Motivation and learner’s self-identities (pp. 202-226). Beijing: Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press.
[8] Linden Lab. (2008). What is Second Life. URL (last checked 5 December 2008).
[9] Liu, N., & Littlewood, W. (1997). Why do many students appear reluctant to participate in classroom learning discourse. System, 25, 371-384. doi:10.1016/S0346-251X(97)00029-8
[10] Ondrejka, C. (2008). Education unleashed: Participatory culture, education, and innovation in Second Life. In K. Salen (Ed.), The ecology of games: Connecting youth, games, and learning (pp. 229-251). Cambridge: The MIT Press.
[11] Tomlinson, B. (2005). English as a foreign language: Matching procedures to the context of learning. In E. Hinkel (Ed.), Handbook of research in second language teaching and learning (pp. 137-153). Hoboken, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Copyright © 2024 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.