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Second Life – a Language School?

Posted on Sunday, June 10, 2007 in Humanities, Other

It’s kind of funny. I’ve been a member of a number of different language sites and I still use one regularly. Many different people contact me, wanting to ‘learn’ Swedish, without taking any classes. Some just want to practice their English. No one stays in touch for long. I can’t say I’ve had much use for the exchange.

Strangely enough, in the relatively short time I’ve been in Second Life, I’ve already felt that I can express myself more freely, especially in French and Spanish. Not as much in Italian and German, but at least there’s some improvement.

I don’t have that many close friends in SL, but that doesn’t really matter. The constantly new people who want advice or help or – in some cases- who want to help me, will ask or tell me things in their languages. I need to find the right words or expressions quickly, almost as if I was in France or Spain or wherever it is.

Sure I need to let go of my demands for perfection. My sentences tend to be simple and basic, as I used to express myself in the years before I first went to school (when it comes to Swedish) or the first years of learning English (roughly ten to thirteen).

That’s not really a problem. I can make myself understood and my brief acquaintances appreciate the fact that I respond in their languages. It might be hard to believe, but there are some ‘residents’ of SL who aren’t fluent in English.

This even made me want to learn Portuguese too. Several times I’ve been unable to chat with the Brazilians who get in touch, hoping I’m a Portuguese speaker too. Who knows, some of those people might be really nice.

So, now I can add another advantage to being in SL. In a way, it’s a pretty good language school. If this is making you a bit curious, why don’t you drop in? There’s just one thing – you’ll need a quite modern and strong computer. Other than that, it’s not difficult. Besides, if you’re not that good at for instance English, there will most likely be people from your country in world already. Search for groups for people from your country or people speaking your language and join them. From the start, you’ll have some people to talk to.

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