Tuesday, January 4, 2011

What is Role Playing?....Would it help to learn a new language?

What is Role Playing?....Would it help to learn a new language? 

In its most basic form, roleplaying is just that: playing a role other than yourself. The most prevalent and well known form of this would be acting, where someone becomes a character either for the stage or screen. They study the character, his/her personality, accent, thoughts and then throughout the film/play, the actor essentially ‘is’ that character.

Another way to roleplay would be Play-By-Post Online Roleplaying. This is generally played on forums, and takes upon itself a role similar to acting, in that you are taking the role of a character (or several) and throughout the roleplay you essentially become that character. The major difference, of course, is that online roleplaying is performed through writing, rather than playing the actions yourself. Online roleplaying could very well be more aptly defined as ‘collaborative creative writing.’ You are working in collaboration with other writers to write creatively – each person taking the point of view of one character in your story.

With the arrival of the metaverse and 3D environtmets, roleplaying became an important part of the MMORPG, "Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game", like world of Warcraft and Second Life. Role-playing in a medieval sim in SL, means that students and professors play the role of a character living in a fantasy world. How much or how little they role-play is up to the level and command of the language they have, also the degree of digital literacy and SL skills they can handle; In order to roleplay in most of the sims, roleplayers must construct basic background histories for their characters and adopt unique mannerisms when they’re “in character.”

This kind of roleplaying in 3D worlds is the best for language learning, since roleplaying occurs the way it'll happen in the movies or the theater and at the same time it ocurs throught writing, oral skills are also improved and learning happens in a more natural way,students interact with people from the world. Roleplaying is an excellent way to get new vocabulary, enhance reading skills, use critical thinking and have fun. Students are given the chance to learn, create and design the characters that later, they will portrait making it meaningful to them and becoming producers and creators, storytellers and the stars in their own stories.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Lesson 1. Greetings and Introductions. Joining the Village. Part B

B. Teacher and students teleport to Artstonia and join the village. This is the little tour to the village:

In the village: Students are supposed to get:

1. The Azora Meter (the system used in the village to role play a more natural way of life: eating, resting, staying healthy, resistance and experience are reflected in the meter. It is a tournament/combat/Role Playing meter)

2. Get the Honor Role Play Trade Goods System. The Trade Goods system expands role-play in three seperate parts:  a gathering system, a trading system and valuable player made items. It be useful since students will go on quests to find items and exchange goods. Excellent opportunities for role playing and practicing meaningful little conversations with villagers in Artstonia.

3. Wear medieval clothing. In order to blend with the villagers, students will get a medieval outfit and wear it. They need to get the outfit from a box. The name of the file is AV- Womens RP Care Package.

4. Register to the groups of the village.
Students will join Artstonia's main communication groups. This way they will get notifications of thevents and news happening in the village. As well as, be able to chat with villagers to socialize or ask questions. 

There are two main groups: Artstonia players Society (everybody joins this one) and Artsonia village Medieval roleplay (students will join  this one later, after taking the character deveolpment class). There are several other groups or guilds in the village. For this experience, students will join the Artstonia Mage society, since Pionia Destiny is a Master in that guild.

Artstonia Players Society: This group is used for the Artstonia Medieval Role-play Village Members to converse, send notices, and experience the general mayhem of the village.

Artstonia Village Medieval Roleplay: This Group is dedicated to those who belong to the Artstonia Village, a Medieval Role-play Sim.  This is a Non-Gorean Role-play Sim using the Azora System.  All are welcome to visit and participate in the role-play.

Artstonia Mages Society: The guild of magic is open to all beings that practice, study, or wish to learn The Art of Magic. The great guild is not aligned to any alignment, race, or creed when it comes to our pursuit. We support all sub-schools of magic as well as the generalist traditions. Our magicians are involved in quests, training, and creation of magical items.

5. Meet some of the villagers and practice what they have learned in their basic English Class. Students will interact with villagers and introduce themselves, say their names and ask villagers names and  introduce others.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Basic Medieval Role Playing


Role Playing, indeed, is a form of acting. Though it does not take place on any sort of stage and there are no scripts used. In Role Playing there are multiple people, each controlling their own character and acting as that character. Typically one person will create a storyline of sorts to follow and they all will “play” out that set storyline adding their own twists & turns along the way. These characters, “course, have a personality, history, and role in the story. The easiest way to describe Role Playing is as Work in progress book that is written together by many people.

Each person that joins will have a character. That character CANNOT be controlled by anyone else but him or her self. Depending on the type of Role Play the characters might be dressed in a certain way and equipped with certain items. Normally characters will be based mainly off the actual Person playing that character.

Creating a Character

Characters will vary depending on the type of Role Play (RP), setting, and the preferences a person has. Every character will need certain aspects to bring it to life. Some characters will need more then others as the Role Play might require it.
Characters usually have and need the following…

    * Name, age, & gender
    * Appearance (eyes, hair, facial features, build…)
    * Clothing & Accessories
    * Bio/History (Ex.- Their parents died at age ten)

Sometimes, depending on the sort of RP, you’ll need descriptive fields like these…

    * Magical Abilities (Ex.- Can control fire)
    * Weapons
    * Special Skills
    * Class (Ex.- Mage, Thief, Archer, Warrior, etc…)

You can use a Character Sheet to get started or you can use paragraph form to describe your character. Here it's an example:

** here you can find a name generator for your character if.. you can think one on your own.. http://www.wizards.com/dnd/Tool.aspx?x=dnd/4new/tool/cng

Most often the characters are supposed to fit the setting. If it’s a medieval fantasy then it’s most likely your character will have some sort of armor on or a cloak of sorts. They also might carry a weapon; perhaps a bow or a long sword.

When discribing your character you can say things like:
“His sharp brown eyes searched the halls…” or “Thomas ran a gloved hand through his short, dark hair.”

A key point to character creation is giving the character a personality that is consistent. For instance… a laid back trouble maker that cares only for himself. Or a young girl that loves nature and is rugged, can defend herself, but has a kind heart. They need, above all else, personality! It truly brings them alive.

Benefits of Role Playing

Role Playing is not only fun, eventful, and an amazing adventure but it is also “educational” and can help writers hone their skills. It can even teach those who loathe writing to love it. Your grammar, spelling, vocabulary, and overall knowledge will improve and expand through Role Playing. This creative writing craft opens minds to new ideas and worlds and challenges the imagination.

Not only are writing and grammatical skills enhanced but there is so much new and odd information for you to obtain. There are endless things to learn from RPs. Sometimes it’s random info and facts and other times you’ll pick up entire concepts. A little fact I learned was that if a person is sleeping and you disturb them slightly their breathing pattern will change, indicating they might wake up. This gives you a warning. It’s a neat little tidbit. Other things I’ve picked up include some feudal Japan history, Greek alphabet, tactical skills, and countless other little things.

Overall there is so much to gain and learn from Role Playing and you don’t even realize you’re learning. That’s the brilliance of it! You take in so much, get better at writing, become more social, develop a more advanced vocabulary, and you’re having fun while undertaking crazy adventures with friends at the same. Your imagination gets to run wild and you have no bounds. I truly encourage you to try Role Playing out if you haven’t already. You won’t regret it.

Taken from:

Prepared by: Pionia Destiny

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Lesson 1. Greetings and Introductions. Part A

1st lesson, Greetings and joining the village.

Artstonia.. Greetings and Introductions. Part A.

To practice common English greetings and introductions including "Greetings", “How are you?” and “Where are you from?” 

Role playing greetings and introductions both in voice or in chat. Visiting the village and interacting with boards, getting a meter and the trade hud. Reading note cards.

Note cards, public chat area and private chat. Boards and Boxes. Media on a prim board

Artstonia Village - Roleplay Medieval Sim
Romeo and Juliet Castle 

Description of the class:
Students are greeted in the Romeo and Juliet Castle where classes are conducted in a more traditional way. Chat voice and Viewer 2 are used. Using a media  on a prim board. Teacher displays the blog: Learning English in a Medieval World  with the class contents and program. Go over vocabulary and a tour of what they are about to do in their first visit to the village.

SL Skills
Talk button, toggle on and off, walking, sitting down, getting note cards, opening boxes and getting contents. Using a teleport.

Plan versus reality
Once the class take place..I'll come back here..smiles

Material used for the class: 
Powerpoint, blog, wiki, sl viewer 2, microphone.

A. Greetings and Introductions
In this lesson we are going to practice:

1.  Basic Introductions:  
Good morning, Good afternoon, Good evening.

2. Saying your name:  
A: What's your name?  
B: My name's John

3. Saying your first name and last name:  
A: Hi, my first name is Carlos Gonzalez. What's your name?  
B: Hi, Carlos. I'm Lucy Morales.

4. The Alphabet: spelling your name
A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, J, K, L, M, N, P, O, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z 

5. Meeting people and spelling names
A: This is my friend Carlos Perez
B: Hi, Carlos. Nice to meet you. My name's Jose.
C: Hello. Jose. Nice to meet you, too
B: How do you spell your name?
C: C-A-R-L-O-S

6. The numbers 0-20
one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine,  ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, eighteen, nineteen, twenty.

7. Counting
A: How many benches are there in the town square?
B: There are 4 benches
A: How many wells are there in the town square?
B: There is one well.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Welcome to Medieval Role playing to learn a new Language!

Rationale behind this Unusual Basic English course.

Since medieval role play sims seem to be inhabit with people from all over the world... this world and other worlds, they become into wonderful environments to learn a new language. Role playing is about socializing. Here, participants interact with individuals or groups of individuals while immersed in another activity. According to de Byl (2009), These environments can offer authentic experiences for users, placing them in a sensory rich situation not afforded by other learning environments. Virtual worlds allow students to hear, see, and interact with simulated real-world scenarios in which learners can arrive at genuine understandings. 

Nowadays, we need different ways to learn and teach. It's important that we are able to get used to chaos happening and learn to handle massive information. ‘A society which is mobile, which is full of channels for the distribution of a change occurring anywhere, must see to it that its members are educated to personal initiative and adaptability. Otherwise, they will be overwhelmed by the changes in which they are caught and whose significance or connections they do not perceive.’ Dewey (1916, p. 88). By learning in virtual worlds within communities of learning like the ones in the different medieval role playing sims, will give the opportunity to participants to learn to have initiative and to adapt to new situations in a natural way.

This first adventure will be taken by three professors of languages. Doris Molero aka Pionia Destiny, Nika Beck aka Dorka Nemeth and Heike Phillip aka Gwen Gwasi. As well, all the members of the Medieval Role play sim "Artstonia". Other professors and Sl friends may join some of the sessions. This will give a touch of how naturally people learn in this open immersive 3d worlds.

The learners:
Nika (Hajnalka) Beck aka Dorka Nemeth has been graduate teaching assistant and lecturer at the University of Göttingen in the department of intercultural German language and literature studies and in the lecturate German as a Foreign Language as well as graduate chairperson of the project IDIAL. She studied German languages and literature and Slavonic studies at the college of education Karloy Eszterhazy in Eger (Hungary) as well as at the University of Göttingen. In 2007 she received further qualification for German as a foreign language (DaF) and in 2008 she qualified as live online teacher. Beck has been involved in teaching at a distance in real-time since 2005 and this led to a co-development of an online learning plattfrom with an Hungarian company from 2006 to 2007. She has been teaching in Second Life since 2007.

Heike Philp,aka Gwen Gwasi is the managing director of LANCELOT School GmbH, a teacher training center for language teachers in the use of virtual classroom technology. Philp taught German for a period of 4 years in Japan and in England. She is however not a qualified DaF teacher.
The Instructor:
Dr. Doris Molero, aka Pionia Destiny is an EFL Professor from Rafael Belloso Chacin University (URBE) in Maracaibo, Venezuela. She is a doctor on Sciences of Education specializing in curriculum and instruction. Her doctoral research was based on the use of Web 2.0 tools as multiliterate agents in the EFL Class at university level. She holds a master degree on Educational Informatics (2002) and graduated from Modern Language School at Universidad del Zulia (1991). I has taught English as a foreign language to high school and adult learners for 21 years. She has also role played in medieval sims since 2008. Right now, she's conducting an ethnographic study on Role play medieval sims and learning a new language.

The lessons:
1st lesson, 12 October 2010, Greetings and joining the village.

De Byl, P. 2009. Making Web3D Less Scary: Toward Easy-to-Use Web3D e-Learning Content Development Tools for Educators Campus Technology. Innovate.  June/July 2009  (Volume 5, Issue 5). http://www.innovateonline.info/pdf/vol5_issue5/Making_Web3D_Less_Scary-__Toward_Easy-to-Use_Web3D_e-Learning_Content_Development_Tools_for_Educators.pdf (accessed October 10, 2010).