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Teacher Training Manual

Page history last edited by klaus 13 years, 5 months ago

As part of the AVALON Project, we piloted a Teacher Training Course for language teachers in Second Life. The Teacher Training manual consists of teaching guidelines that have emerged from the Teacher Training Course. It is hoped that this manual will be a helpful resource for teachers around the world who would like to start teaching languages in Second Life.


The Teacher Training Course Curriculum can be viewed here: AVALON Teacher Training Course Schedule (Weeks 1-6).doc



AVALON Language Teacher Training Course

Trainer Manual


This manual has been prepared as an outcome of a pilot Teacher Training Course that took place in Second Life as part of the AVALON Project (www.avalonlearning.eu), in accordance with WP5 and WP6 Work package 5Work package 6. The pilot took place between 15 February and 30 March 2010. The course was aimed at language teachers who were not yet familiar with Second Life but wanted to explore its potential for language teaching. The language teachers who participated in the teacher training course came from a variety of European countries and they taught a variety of languages. Although the activities suggested in this manual are for the teaching and learning of English, it is up to the teacher using this handbook to adapt the language and activities (if necessary) to suit their own teaching context. For the purposes of this manual, the teacher trainer is referred to as the 'Tutor' and the teachers taking the course are referred to as 'Trainees'.


The activities and tasks presented in this manual are adopted from those that were used in the pilot Teacher Training Course. It is the aim of the project to include this manual in the project’s wiki so that teachers who wish to use this manual may also make contributions to it to develop it further. If you have used resources and tasks that have been particularly successful, please include these as suggestions in this manual. In this way a wider community of language teachers may have access to resources/ideas that address their particular teaching needs.  


This manual will provide guidelines for lessons in a weekly format. Each week would normally consist of two sessions. There will be suggestions for lesson plan ideas for each session, however, the aims indicated will be for the week and not session by session in order to make this manual more flexible for your use. You may choose to cover the aims of the week by giving different weight to the hours you wish to spend on them in each session.The activities provided for each week are suggestions and can be adapted/deleted depending on your particular lesson.


It is important to note that this manual needs to be used together with the Moodle; http://lms.workademy.net/

The Teacher Training Course was designed to engage language teachers in Second Life  for 4 hours in a week (2 hours in each session) with tutors and to allow 2 hours per week for self-study and contributions to Moodle where teachers participated in discussion forums, read on theory and explored links and resources. Access to Moodle has been made public via a guest login; http://lms.workademy.net/


Materials and resources used on the Teacher Training Course are stored in various places. For each activity provided in the manual, suggestions for materials and resources to be used with that activity will also be included.The materials and resources referred to can be accessed through various means. For some of the resources, trainees will be directed to links where they can buy them or get them for free to use in their teaching.


Here is a list of slurls to the places on AVALON Island mentioned in the manual:


Sandbox: http://slurl.com/secondlife/AVALON%20Learning/116/63/36/

Teacher's Meeting Area: http://slurl.com/secondlife/AVALON%20Learning/75/227/40/

Settlement Huts: http://slurl.com/secondlife/AVALON%20Learning/176/104/25/

Business Barn: http://slurl.com/secondlife/AVALON%20Learning/134/189/33/

Music Stage Area: http://slurl.com/secondlife/AVALON%20Learning/65/67/50/

Village: http://slurl.com/secondlife/AVALON%20Learning/98/170/38/

Harbour: http://slurl.com/secondlife/AVALON%20Learning/225/77/22/



Week 1



to help you get to know others on the course

to introduce you to ways of changing avatar appearance

to introduce you to basic features of Second Life: e.g sitting & standing; using the voice feature

to introduce you to Avalon Island through a 'walking tour'

to explore the theme of 'identity' and language teaching in Second Life





Aim: Getting tutors and trainees to get to know about each other, practising sitting down and using voice in SL 

Place: Teacher's Meeting Area might be a place to do this activity as there are chairs there which might be convenient.

Materials/Resources: You can use the chairs in the Teacher's Meeting Area or, if you wish, you can create your own chairs to use in different places on the Island.

Description: Tutor asks trainees to take a seat around the table and to start talking with one another. After a minute or two the tutor asks everyone to answer these three questions: 1) What language do you teach?, 2) How long have you been teaching?, 3) Why are you interested in taking this course in SL?


Speed introductions!

Aim: Getting trainees to find out information about each other, practising walking in SL 

Place: The Settlement Huts (these are soundproofed)

Description: Tutor allocates equal numbers of students to go in each hut. Trainees are given 3 minutes to find out as much as possible about the others in the same hut. Once the time is up everyone comes out of the huts and gathers together outside to share interesting information they have found out about fellow 'classmates'.


Catch that suffix!

Aim: Moving around in SL (running) and practicing suffixes 

Place: Sandbox or any area where there is a large empty space

Materials: Boxes or cards with different suffixes (-cy, -ness, -ity) written on them

Description: Tutor places several different suffixes like -cy, -ness, -ation, -ity around the Sandbox and asks trainees to run  to the correct suffix as the tutor calls out adjectives of personality such as 'determined'- 'determination', 'sincere'- 'sincerity'. 


Musical Chairs

Aim: Moving, sitting, standing in SL, getting help on technical problems in SL, practicing giving advice

Place: In front of Music stage area or any area with some empty space to put chairs

Materials/Resources: Chairs

Description: Tutor sets up chairs, one less than the total number of students. Tutor plays music through microphone (outside SL) and asks trainees to walk around the chairs. Tutor asks trainees to sit down on an empty chair when the music stops. Tutor plays and stops music through microphone. The last person standing when the music stops gets a notecard with a technical problem written on it such as, 'I can't hear voice'. Tutor asks other learners to give advice using appropriate structure for giving advice (i.e, 'You should...', 'Why don't you...', If I were you...').

Tip: The tutor can put the problems that occurred at the beginning of the lesson on the notecard so that trainees could get to review how they can be solved during the lesson.


Treasure Hunt

Aim: Begining to explore the issue of 'identity' in SL, moving in SL

Place: Village 

Materials/Resources: Boxes with words written on them (the words should create a full sentence) 

Description: Tutor asks trainees to find objects with words on it placed in various places in the Village. Trainees are asked to create a sentence with all the words they have found collaboratively. The complete sentence is: 'Can language learners become the learners they want to be in Second Life?' Trainees comment on the meaning of this sentence and offer their own perspectives and views.


Creating/modifying your Avatar

Aim: Exploring how to change ones appearance in Second Life. Using adjectives and descriptors. Thinking about the issue of identity in SL and how you can change it.

Place: Sandbox or any other area where there is a lot of empty space

Materials/Resources: Free clothes packs that can be obtained from: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Freebies/128/128/65/

Description: Tutor asks trainees to think about their appearance and how their appearance contributes to their identity. Trainees are then handed out some clothes to put in their inventory for later but with which they can try out different appearances. Each trainee is asked to make themselves look different in terms of their appearance (weight, length,facial features etc.) and to also try on different clothes from their newly obtained folder of clothes. Trainees are then asked to explain whther they feel comfortable with their new appearance and to try to explain why they might or maight not feel comfortable with their new look. Other trainees can voice their opinions about whether a particular newly acquired appearance suits the concept of a 'student' or 'teacher'. Alternatively, each trainee is asked to think about the characteristics of their new avatar/identity by using adjectives, and other trainees are then asked to guess/describe the characteristics of their peer's revised identity with the use of adjectives. Further discussion could involve the issue of how easy it is to change one's appearance/identity in SL and how this compares to real life and its implications for those using Second Life recreationally and for business. Tutor can then give the slurl http://slurl.com/secondlife/Freebies/128/128/65/ or landmark of the Freebie site to trainees for future use.

Tip: Before beginning this task, tutor needs to make sure that trainees have saved their current outfit and appearance.


Week 2



          to continue the ‘getting to know  you’ process
          to consider ways of ‘networking’ in SL; for example by using the ‘add friends’ feature; filling in your user profile;
          to introduce SL note cards and ways of using them in language teaching
          to cover basic ‘navigational skills, e.g creating landmarks & teleporting (on the Avalon Island) & map reading
          to explore the theme of ‘modality’ and language teaching in SL
          to begin to think about ways of promoting participation among learners in SL




My Identity

Aim: Getting trainees to think about identity in SL, getting trainees to think about their appearance in SL

Place: Sandbox

Materials/Resources: Opinionator (possible to buy at http://slurl.com/secondlife/Tupi/145/140/303 for L$99 (Linden Dollars))

Description: The tutor asks trainees to gather in the middle of the Opinionator and explains that each time she/he reads out a statement about identity that the trainees go to the section that describes their attitude the best (either agree, disagree, strongly agree, strongly disagree, or neutral). The tutor gives some statements (tutor could also write these in the chat box for trainees to read in case they cannot hear the statement). Example statements:

"My AVATAR should look like me in real life."

"My AVATAR should look like a teacher."

"It is important to have a similar identity to the identity one has in real life."
Depending on where trainees are placed on the Opinionator following each statement, the tutor prompts a discussion about identity and Second Life.


Creating my Profile
Aim: Creating a profile for oneself in Second Life.

Place: Start outside the Business Barn and move inside once they start the pairwork (see 'Description' below).

Materials/Resources: YouTube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCgQRrdtgQc

Description: The tutor could have a look at this YouTube clip http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCgQRrdtgQc before the session for guidance if needed. The tutor starts out with a discussion of the uses/dangers of filling in your profile in Second Life. After a brief discussion/exploring trainees attitudes about this, the trainees are asked to work in pairs to fill out their own profile. The tutor then suggests trainees to have a look at the YouTube video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCgQRrdtgQc).

The pairs are then asked to discuss how the profiles can be used in teaching and write their suggestions on a 'notecard' to then send to the tutor. The tutor briefly elicits how to send an item to someone who is online and nearby and someone who is far  away or offline.


'Say cheese!': Taking snapshots in SL

Aim: Helping trainees with practising taking photos/snapshots of their Avatar and others in SL

Place: Village

Materials/Resources: http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Video_Tutorial/Take_a_snapshot

Description: Tutor explains how to take snapshots in Second Life of yourself and your surroundings. Tutor then asks trainees to take a snapshot of themselves and to upload this snapshot to the Moodle site, http://lms.workademy.net/


Organising your inventory 

Aim: Helping trainees organise their inventories so they can make efficient use of it in their teaching.

Place: Anywhere on the Island

Materials/Resources: http://slexperiments.edublogs.org/2008/07/15/tip-8/

Description: Tutor asks trainees to find notecards in their inventory. Tutor shows trainees how they can create sub-folders in the notecards main folder and then asks them to organise their existing notecards into folders. Tutor then suggest to trainees that they can follow the same principle for objects and other items in their inventory.


"Shall we teleport?" 

Aim: Helping trainees with teleporting themselves and their 'friends' to and from different places in Second Life.

Place: Start off in the Sandbox and have ready-prepared examples (landmarks) of other places on the AVALON Island or other Islands to use for this task.

Materials/Resources: Various landmarks from your inventory.

Description: Tutor shows trainees how to create landmarks and how to 'give' these landmarks to others. Trainees then start practising teleporting each other with one or two volunteers who are asked to choose one or two places on the map and teleporting everyone to this location. This activity can also be done in pairs where pairs are asked to teleport each other to and from different landmarks that they have in their inventory.

Tip: It is useful for the tutor to have created a group for all the trainees to be able to track everyone in this task and to be able to bring back everyone to one place at the end.


Who is good at multi-tasking?

Aim: Introducing the concept of modality and the different modes of communication in Second Life.

Place: Settlement Huts


Description: Tutor asks trainees to get in groups of two or three. Tutor explains that he/she will provide a discussion topic with a task to be completed to everyone and that each pair/group will go to a different hut and discuss this topic. In the meantime the tutor will send texts either via the chatbox to the whole group or via IM to individuals asking them questions. Trainees will experience multi-tasking where they will be discussing their topic and completing their task while they get asked questions and expected to respond to these via the text function.

Tip: Tutors can choose a topic of discussion that is either in the current news or they could get trainees to discuss difficulties of negotiating the different modes of communication in SL. However, the important part of this activity is that the trainees need to be given a task to complete based on their discussion, otherwise they may stop discussing the topic altogether and focus only on answering the text-chat/IM questions.


Week 3



          to explore other Second Life islands/communities whilst considering the notion of 'spatiality' in SL

          to develop your navigational skills when moving  on and between islands

          to consider the nature of SL island ‘communities’

          to think about what makes an SL community successful

          to think about how communities may be useful in language learning contexts

          to build a basic object in SL




Creating slurls

Aim: Showing trainees how they can create slurls for particular places they visited.

Place: Anywhere on the Island

Materials/Resources: http://slurl.com/about.php

Description: Tutor explains the use of creating and sharing slurls in connecting Second Life to the outside. Through slurs those who are outside Second Life can automatically be teleported to a location in Second Life. Trainees are asked to visit http://slurl.com/about.php to see how they can create slurls for a specific location. Tutor picks a specific location and takes trainees through a step by step process of creating slurls for this location. Tutor then elicits potential difficulties in meeting up in Second Life without slurls.



Aim: Practising navigational skills: teleporting/flying, developing understanding of 'spatiality' in Second Life.

Place: Start at the Sandbox-move to different islands-come back together at the Sandbox

Materials/Resources: Tutor can provide some landmarks to trainees before this activity or trainees can be asked to use existing landmarks in their inventory if they wish.

Description: Tutor asks trainees to get into groups of three (group of four would also be fine). Tutor asks trainees whether anyone in a group has their own landmarks that are likely to be unfamiliar to the rest of the group. If they do and they would like to use one such landmark from their inventory, they can. If trainees do not have landmarks that tey can use, the tutor can give them landmarks of various different places in Second Life (tutor can find interesting landmarks from the website, www.secondlife.com). Tutor then asks trainees to teleport to a landmark/location and to explore the island using various navigational tools (flying, walkig, running) and to return back to AVALON ISland, the Sandbox after 10 to 15 minutes. Once everyone has returned to the Sandbox, tutor asks each group to talk about what they have seen and done where they have visited. Topics that could be discussed with each presentation are: appropriateness of content in these islands (the way avatars are dressed, what they do), difficulty/ease of staying close to each other, and other such issues.


How good is your 'Shakespeare'?

Aim: To practise navigating in a space and to practise using camera controls. Practising the past tense (language focus).

Place: http://slurl.com/secondlife/British%20Council%20Isle/208/217/29/

Materials/Resources: The British Council, Shakespeare Quest landmark (see above for slurl) would be useful to have in your inventory for easy distribution to trainees.

Description: Tutor asks everyone to teleport to the British Council Isle, Shakespeare Quest by handing out landmarks. Tutor asks trainees to gather at the top floor where they will land with the teleport. Tutor then explains to trainees that the goal of their activity in this place is to find Shakespeare's lost play, Cardenio. To do this, trainees need to look for clues everywhere they can: in his study/bedroom (reading excerpts from his plays), in the Modern UK Library (doing a quiz and looking at the book covers), and the Writers' cemetery (reading text on tombs and finding code words). By finding the location of the lost play and solving the quest, the trainee wins an uncopiable 'Cardenio play' as an object in their inventory.

Tip: It would be important for the tutor to complete this quest themselves before the session.


Building a community in SL

Aim: To discuss issues related to building and maintaining communities in SL. Discovering new places in SL.

Place: Meet in front of Christian's Pub in the Village.

Description: When trainees are all in front of Christian's Pub, tutor asks them to enter Christian's Pub and locate the portal to the Sky Office. Tutor makes sure that everyone has found the portal and asks trainees to go to the Sky Office. Once all the trainees are at the Sky Office, tutor asks everyone to sit down in a chair. Tutor then asks trainees about how a community in Second Life can be established and how this process might be different or similar to establishing communities in real life.


Starting to build in Second Life

Aim: Introducing basic building skills. Practising colours, shapes.

Place: Sandbox

Description: Tutor introduces the notion of building in SL and how this is useful for a teacher. Tutor then shows how to rez a basic shape with the edit function. Once having explained this, the tutor asks each trainee to rez a specific shape in front of them (tutor asks each trainee to rez a different shape). If the class is big (more than 10 trainees), tutor can ask everyone to rez one shape. Tutor then shows how to change the colour of the particular shape. At this point, trainees come together in pairs to discuss what else they would like to do with their shape and what could they use it for in their teaching. If all the trainees have build different shapes and colours, then the tutor can call out one of the shapes (and colour) and ask all the trainees to walk towards that object.


Building a picture board

Aim: Practising use of basic building skills. Helping to build a picture board which trainees can then use in their teaching in the future.

Place: Sandbox

Description: Tutor explains how trainees can build a picture board by clicking edit function and choosing a cube as a shape to begin their building with. Trainees are asked to resize and move the cube they started out with turning it into a large thin rectangular object. They can follow the steps below:

1. Right-click the ground and select "Create" from the pie menu. (Alternatively, click the "Build" button.)

2. While still in "Edit" mode, hold the Shift and ALT keys. You should see small white, red, green and blue cubes.

3. Hover over one of the red cubes until it is highlighted (brighter). Click on it and move it forward and backward. See what happens.

4. Doing the above (3), make your cube flat.

5. To resize the object, hold the Shift and ALT keys again. Using the green or blue cubes, you can resize it horizontally or vertically. Using the white cubes, you can change the size in both directions at the same time.

Once the picture board is created, the tutor asks trainees to give it a name by which they can remember their board. To show how they use their board, they are then asked to drag a snapshot from their inventory (in Photo Albums or Textures) to their newly built picture board. In order to put this board in their inventory for future use, trainees need to right-click on the board and select 'take' from the pie menu. Tutor asks trainees to rez their board from their inventory and to position it where they would like to have it. Tutor then initiates another discussion about the benefits of building in SL and the purposes for which objects can be used in teaching languages.



Week 4



          to explore further skills in creating basic objects, including scripting

          to explore the way SL interfaces with the rest of the Web

          to learn how to create and use presentations in SL

          to explore the themes of ‘spatiality’ and ‘creativity’ in SL language teaching

          to begin to consider the ‘projects’ you’ll undertake for the course


Script it!

Aim: To introduce the concept of scripting in SL. Practising naviating and using camera controls in SL. Practising asking and answering questions.

Place: Village

Materials/Resources: http://www.3greeneggs.com/autoscript/


Description: Tutor explains the concept of scripting in Second Life (please refer to 'instructables.com' tutorial provided above for guidance if necessary). The tutor prepares notecards in any topic area, where there is one card that has a question and another card that has the answer. There needs to be one notecard per each trainee (each trainee gets either a question or an answer). The tutor then prepares an equal number of objects (simple boxes would be fine) as the notecards and makes all the boxes a different colour. The tutor then scripts all the boxes (using http://www.3greeneggs.com/autoscript/) such that the boxes will give the avatar that touches it a notecard. The tutor then hides all these boxes in different parts of the Village before the session. During the session, the tutor asks trainees to find one box each and asks trainees to touch the box they have found to receive a notecard with either a question or an answer on it. The trainees' task is now to find the corresponding question/answer to their notecard by going around and asking other trainees.   these boxes to The tutor scripts all objects to give the avatar who touches it a notecard with either a question on it or an answer on it. The tutor explains the function of scripting after this activity and asks trainees what other types of activities they could have done using scripting. The tutor also tells trainees that they will be creating and building and scripting (if they feel comfortable doing that) in the following session so they can spend time out of session times to practise these skills.


Creating a script

Aim: To create a script and to think about how the scripted object might be used in one of your language teaching classes.

Place: Sandbox

Materials/Resources: Some ready-prepared sounds to give to teachers in case they want to script some sounds into their objects.

Description: Tutor asks trainees to build an object (a simple shape will be fine) or to rez an existing object from their inventory. Tutor then directs trainees to the scripting website, http://www.3greeneggs.com/autoscript/

Once trainees all confirm that they are on the website, tutor asks them what they would like their object to do and goes through the list on the website asking trainees to choose one function. if any trainees choose the function of playing a sound, the tutor can give some sounds to those trainees from his/her inventory. Trainees go through the process of scripting their objects and the tutor then asks everyone in the session to try out each others' scripted objects to see if they work.


Creating an activity!

Aim: To help trainees take the first step in creating a full language teaching activity with materials provided to them to work with. Talking about the weather, practising adjectives (language focus).

Place: Sandbox

Materials/Resources: Picture cards with pictures related to different weather conditions (a picture depicting rain/snow/sleet/hot weather etc.) and sounds that that include a sentence said about each weather condition.

Description: Tutor asks trainees to get into pairs or groups of 3 (depending on class size). Trainees are then given some pre-prepared 'images' (5 in total was used in the training course but this can be adapted) depicting weather conditions (see 'Materials/Resources' above), as well as pre-prepared 'sounds' that have sentences relating to each weather condition (e.g. "brrr it's really cold!", "can someone turn on the fan, it's really hot in here!"). Trainees are then given 30 minutes to create an activity with these materials. Snapshots of the trainees in the teacher training course working on their activity can be seen below:


Weeks 5 and 6


In the 5th week of the course, both sessions were completely allocated to trainees to work on their end-of-course presentations for the 6th (and final) week. Trainees worked in pairs to prepare their presentations which consisted of preparing a lesson plan and presenting this lesson plan and carrying out one activity from the lesson plan in front of their 'classmates'. The rubric for their end-of course presentation can be found here: The_Project.doc

During their preparations for their projects in the 5th week, tutors were always there to help with any questions, or problems or simply to provide feedback on the progress.

In the 6th and final week of the course, trainees presented their projects and received feedback from the tutors and their 'classmates'. Examples of the projects presented can be found on the Moodle site: http://lms.workademy.net/

You can see some snapshots of presentations below:



Final words


We hope that you find information in this manual and in the Moodle site useful and that you can take a step into teacher training in Second Life.


If you would like to build on ideas in this handbook and are willing to be a part of a community of language teacher trainers and language teachers you are welcome to join our Teacher Support Group Meetings which take place twice a month. For up-to-date information about the days and time of these meetings please visit our project Ning: http://avalon-project.ning.com/


This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

The material throughout this document is available under a Creative Commons Non-Commercial Share Alike agreement established between the project partners see www.creativecommons.org














Comments (1)

klaus said

at 4:37 pm on Jan 7, 2011

I have put this deliverable as a PDF in the repository and linked it to our official homepage, if there are final adjustments, please notify me that I can update the release.

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