Virtual Language Villages
A Virtual Language Village is used as so called 'Taaldorp' (Dutch for language village) in the Netherlands. We have built several Virtual Language Villages in the past decade. We even won two European awards for Chatterdale and Parolay.
The concept of a language village
A language village at school is something that is frequently arranged in the Netherlands. Entire classrooms, the auditorium and the gym are being converted into shops and offices. The teachers will play the shop owners while the students visit these places to have real life conversations. To practice real conversation. It needs a lot of preparation to arrange this at school, all rooms have to be furnished with the right stuff, and can no longer be used for other lessons. Sometimes it's just too much hassle. That is why we started building Virtual Language Villages. First in OpenSimulator (see the info at the bottom of this page) but we are now improving it and use the latest METAverse technology.
Virtual Language Villages 2.0 (browser based)
This year we started rebuilding the old Virtual Language Villages in a new system that can be accessed through a standard web browser on almost every phone, tablet or computer, even a Chromebook. You can now step right in. Even VR headsets can be used to walk around in our villages.
No software to download and install, no account needed. This is part of the Educational Metaverse.
The first Chatterdale was built in 2010 and is an English Virtual Language Village in OpenSimulator. It holds 15 shops, a lighthouse, a presentation area and a church, all on a 256 x 256 meter virtual island. It is part of our EDUgrid and also used in the E-LIVE project. Check out this 2012 video about Chatterdale in OpenSim.
The new Chatterdale 2.0, which is now browser based, is still under construction. It holds 5 shops but every shop can be used in multiple scenes so 10 or 15 shops can be used (5 at a time). Besides that it has some presentation boards where teachers or students can present a PDF or share a webcam or stream their screen. The great thing is that already now you can jump right in and check it out. Just click on the red button to visit the new Chatterdale.
Parolay is a French Virtual Language Village we built around 2011 in OpenSimulator. It also holds 15 shops, a marketplace and a church, on a 256 x 256 meter virtual island. Like Chatterdale, it is part of our EDUgrid and also used in the E-LIVE project.
The new Parolay 2.0 is now broser based but still under construction. It holds 5 buildings that can be used as shops or offices to pratice French. We can use mutiple scenes so we can have 5, 10 or 15 shops (5 at a time). BBesides that it has some presentation boards where teachers or students can present a PDF or share a webcam or stream their screen. The great thing is that already now you can jump right in and check it out. Just click on the red button to visit the new Parolay.
The old Virtual Language Villages (in OpenSimulator)
In the past decade we created several virtual language villages for English, French, German and Spanish in a system called OpenSimulator. Which are still up and running. If schools want to use these virtual villages, they can only be accessed via a PC or a MAC. A special 3D viewer needs to be installed on every computer that is used by teachers and students. Accounts have to be created and all has to be tested bij the IT department of the school because some special ports in the school network need to be open to access the virtual villlage. Also a lot of work, but it only needs to be done once.