This chapter focuses on informal language learning in virtual worlds (VWs) – online three‐dimensional virtual environments. The chapter begins by defining this technology and its key characteristics and their development over time, and provides examples of some that are currently popular. It will then look at current research on this environment – first that which has been accomplished in more formal (school) settings and then at the potential for VWs for informal language learning. It concludes with future directions of this technology and suggestions for educators and students who might wish to use a virtual world to enhance their own language learning.
- virtual worlds
- virtual environments
- multiuser educational environments
- second life
- informal language learning