French is the ninth most widely used language globally, but French-learning environments in Taiwan have been insufficient. Language acquisition is easier in a natural setting, and so such a setting should be available to language learners wherever possible. This study aimed to (1) create an authentic environment for learning French in Second Life (SL), and then (2) determine the effects of different collaborative models on learners’ French performance and their perceptions about learning French. Twenty-three college students participated in the study. They were asked to collaboratively execute tasks involving the creation of French-language movies in SL. Both the movies produced by the participants and the collaborative processes were collected and analyzed, with the results indicating that the students adopted different collaborative models that led to different learning outcomes. Three types of collaborative models were identified: context-inclusive collaboration, context-exclusive collaboration, and context-exclusive centralization. The results also indicated that the context-inclusive collaboration model had positive impacts on students’ speaking capability and other aspects of their learning performance, and at the same time facilitated the effects of collaboration on how the students performed.
Educational Technology Research and Development 63(5), pp 645-670