New literacies, Learning sciences and Language Sciences

Virtual Worlds for Learning and Teaching - Applications of Distributed Language - Dongping Zheng

Dongping Zheng [+-]
University of Hawai'i
Dongping Zheng is Assistant Professor of Second Language Studies at the University of Hawai'i. Her’ work has been centered on introducing dialogical theories, e.g., ecological psychology and distributed cognition, to second language studies, specifically, using virtual world technology as a catalyst to reconceptualize second language acquisition. Dongping draws upon her diverse educational and professional experiences to develop her research agenda that focuses on language development in a community of practice and social networks. She uses virtual worlds and web-based technologies to engage learners and teachers from multifaceted linguistic and cultural backgrounds. She studies how design affects learning trajectories and authentic language use in such environments. Her work has been published in The Modern Language Journal, The Computer Assisted Language Instruction Consortium Journal, Innovate: Journal of Online Education, and is due to appear in Language Sciences.


Learning environments enhanced by game engines to create virtual worlds are bringing language teachers exciting new tools with which to engage learners in more meaningful ways, and more importantly, are stimulating reflection on whether current pedagogies are functioning as they should in face2face environments. By focusing on the affordances that new technologies provide learning and on how people learn in different ways with technology, the volume offers innovative theoretical and practical contributions on key issues in this field and contributes to transcending the current state of affairs whereby many classroom practices fail to tap the full potential of virtual world technology. The volume, and supporting website, thus provide a much-needed distributed language perspective that can guide language learning and instruction in new ways thereby ensuring that sound theory and good practices accompany the use of these environments. In particular, ecological psychological, dialogical, and distributed multimodal meaning-making and value-realizing aspects, the backbone of the distributed approach, will be used to explore language learning in virtual and classroom spaces.

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Zheng, Dongping . New literacies, Learning sciences and Language Sciences. Virtual Worlds for Learning and Teaching - Applications of Distributed Language. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. Sep 2020. ISBN 9781845538828. Date accessed: 26 Jun 2019 doi: 10.1558/equinox.25247. Sep 2020

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