This paper aims to show that the use of a text-based chat system in cyberspace is a more effective and efficient method of practice in English communication for Japanese learners of English than standard oral English conversation classes. Such conversation classes contain numerous students who are unwilling to participate. This can be attributed to a sense of shame at their poor speaking skills and also to the unnaturalness of role-playing activities with the same classmates. The author has introduced 3D-IES (3-Dimensional Interactive Education System) to a joint class involving Kyushu University and Hokkaido University students. They enter a 3D cyberspace campus or town under the disguise of an alter ego called an 'avatar' and enjoy online text-based chat without knowing who they are communicating with. This anonymity and the use of text eliminate the feeling of shame, make the interaction appear much more real, and create a good bridge to oral communication training of a higher level.
|Translated title of the contribution||3D Cyberspace and a Text-based Chat System in English Education: English Classes on the Basis of Distance Learning|
|Number of pages||14|
|Publication status||Published - 2002|