Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Special Issue on CALL No.2 July, 2015                                             Pp.150 – 182

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   Virtual Task-Based Situated Language-Learning with Second Life: Developing EFL Pragmatic Writing and Technological Self-Efficacy 


 Mahmoud M. S. Abdallah
Faculty of Education, Assiut University, Egypt

Marian M. Mansour
Faculty of Education, Assiut University, Egypt


This paper reports on an experimental research study that aimed at investigating the effectiveness of employing a virtual task-based situated language learning (TBSLL) environment mediated by Second Life (SL) in developing EFL student teachers’ pragmatic writing skills and their technological self-efficacy. To reach this goal, a control-only experimental research design was employed to compare between participants’ performance in two groups: a control group (n=10) exposed to a traditional lecture-based writing course; and an experimental (SL) group selected purposively (n=10) and exposed to the virtual SL situated language learning environment (online sessions). Procedures were guided by a five-stage instructional-technological design framework suggested by the researchers, which involved those stages: (1) analysis, (2) design, (3) production, (4) experimentation, and (5) use & development. Measurement tools included: (a) Pragmatic Writing Skills Post-Test; (b) Academic Self-Efficacy Scale; and (c) E-portfolio for formative assessment. Results indicated the effectiveness of the virtual task-based situated language environment in developing participants’ pragmatic writing skills in English, and that SL participants’ technological self-efficacy was significantly higher than that of the control group participants. The paper presents recommendations and suggestions for improving English language learning (ELL) – especially writing – through using virtual situated environments in general, and SL in particular.
KeywordsPragmatic writing, second life, situated language learning, task-based learning, technological self-efficacy, virtual language learning