Turkish Foreign Language Learners’ Roles and Outputs: Introducing an Innovation and Role-Playing in Second Life

 

This study aims to design of the two activities “introducing an innovation” and “role playing” in Second Life (SL) and to evaluate qualitatively Turkish foreign language learner’s roles and outputs before, while, and after the implementation of the activities. The study used community of inquiry model consisting of cognitive presence and social presence as a theoretical frame to discuss the roles and outputs. The participants were twelve students and two English teachers from two different high schools. Teaching and learning in SL took six weeks. The first activity “introducing an innovation” let students develop an innovation and introduce it in English at a congress hall. The second activity “role playing” had four different scenarios in which students would be involved in; travel agency, get permission from family to go out, restaurant, and renting a car. It was found that the two activities in Second Life had various requirements in terms of the teacher, the student and the social environment and that they differed in pre-activity, while-activity and post-activity phases in terms of outputs. When the learning contexts created in this study are considered in terms of cognitive presence, the outcomes of the interaction effect between the teacher, the student, and the social environment were higher in the role-playing activity than in the second activity. Written preparations done before the activity in both teaching activities had positive effects on students’ performance during the activity. The fact that students responded to the questions spontaneously without following the scenario and that they found the correct answer through discussion affected their cognitive presence positively. For social presence, the role-play activity resulted in higher social presence than introducing an innovation since the students studied individually in the introduction of an innovation.