SWBAT: Express themselves appropriately (grammatical structures and register) in the TL in order to carry on conversations with other MOO participants and to ask appropriate questions that will enable them to complete their assignment. They will also be able to understand TL input sufficiently to be active contributors to the virtual reality of the MOO. Students will also be able to make oral presentations in the TL relating the information they have learned from participating in the MOO.
Standards targeted: 1.2, 1.3; 2.1, 2.2; 3.2; 4.2; 5.1, 5.2
Description of activity: Students will log on to a TL-specific MOO as a class, and you, the teacher, will be there with them. They will probably want to have character identities, and these need to be planned ahead of time. Becoming familiar with the virtual reality environment of a MOO is a matter of knowing and using the commands and proper comportment, and just plain practice.
1. The students' first assignment is simply to find their way around the MOO and identify several different locations, places, or rooms--let's say 3 to start. They can then write a brief paragraph describing the sites they visited in the MOO and turn it in for accountability.
2. You, the teacher, can log the actions in the MOO for coroboration of the students' activities during this initial visit (see MOO instructions).
3. Once the students are familiar with the MOO environment and comfortable participating there, they can move on to their next activity, which requires more TL interaction. Either as a class or on their own time as individuals, have the students revisit the MOO and strike up conversations with at least 4 different characters or persons over a 2 week period. The students will need to find out where their interlocutors are from (nationality) and a little personal background about each one. Each student will ultimately be responsible for "introducing" his or her new MOO friends to the rest of the class orally in a brief presentation. Many students will undoubtedly "meet" the same people, so they must listen carefully to their peers' presentation in order to identify duplications.
4. A final assignment could involve the research of a particular cultural custom or product that each student is interested in and has investigated prior to MOOing. The students would select their topic (custom or product)--perhaps in conjunction with teachers from other disciplines (Social Studies, Art, Home Economics, Physical Education) and then engage a native speaker found in the MOO on the topic. Students could report back to the teacher and/or class by written or oral means. Some sample topics, customs, or products might be as follows:
5. Students may make long-term friends in the MOO and continue to "converse" with them in the TL even when the assignments are finished. This medium just might engender an enthusiasm for language learning and use that will continue for years to come!