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In this paper, we describe a 3D virtual collaborative system designed for the learning of Spanish as a second language. Several initiatives for second language learning in 3D virtual worlds exploiting immersive, interactive and motivating features of these worlds have been carried out successfully during the last years. However, these systems tend to be sometimes too rigid from a pedagogical point of view, requiring the presence of a teacher. We have used the Wonderland development toolkit to deploy a 3D virtual learning environment, which is flexible enough to allow learners to improve their language skills with minimum teacher's help, setting up an instructional sequence in which fostered, motivating, and pre-designed collaboration is the key for self-learning. The environment includes technical issues such as natural text chatting with synthetic characters, textual tagging of virtual objects, automatic reading of texts, and the integration of a 3D mouse in learning sequences in order to exploit the capabilities of 3D virtual worlds.
Date of Conference: 5-7 July 2010