Does second life improve mandarin learning by overseas chinese students?

Yu Ju Lan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study was to determine the effectiveness of Second Life (SL) for improving the oral output of overseas Chinese students learning Mandarin Chinese (hereafter referred to as Mandarin). More than 1000 overseas Chinese students attend a university in northern Taiwan every year to learn Mandarin as a heritage language after graduating from high school in their own countries. These students strive to learn academically, but rarely actively speak Mandarin either inside or outside the classroom. This two-stage study evaluated the use of SL in improving their oral output. The focus of stage 1 was to confirm the potential of SL for promoting the oral output of overseas Chinese students in Mandarin language classes. Twenty overseas Chinese students learning Mandarin participated in this stage. In stage 2, 24 overseas Chinese students were taught 3 learning units in Mandarin in SL. Analysis of the results showed that learning Mandarin in an SL environment significantly increased the in-class oral output of those students. They also made significant improvements in oral performance and learning attitudes toward Mandarin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-56
Number of pages21
JournalLanguage Learning and Technology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jun


  • Chinese as a second language
  • Mandarin
  • Task-based learning
  • Virtual environment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Computer Science Applications


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