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Title: Communication in virtual world spaces : an exploration of the layers and resources employed in a multimodal, informal language learning experience
Author: Turner, Anne
ISNI:       0000 0004 7223 5140
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2018
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In my thesis I explore the interplay between the different layers employed in communication when a small number of people interact and exchange views in a virtual world, Second Life. I investigate how geographical, physical reality intrudes on virtual reality, and the effect this has on identity and communication. Furthermore, I trace how the interface between the different modes and spaces, such as ‘in world’ voice, the Internet and the ‘real physical world’, blend in communication. The study involved video recordings of the meetings and interaction in Second Life between a small number of participants. The participants comprised international students, preparing to study at a UK university, home students in the same university and the researcher. This occurred in my plot of land on Edunation Island in Second Life. Ultimately, I, the researcher, explored how adopting an avatar in a virtual world affects communication. My approach to this research was a qualitative, in depth study of selected scenes and interactions. I use a visual narrative approach to present an analysis of the interactions between participants, the environment and references to modes or spaces external to the virtual spaces. I theorise on the interactions from the view of language as a social practice with its principal purpose for communication. I evaluate the success of communication between the participants on the merit of their understanding of each other, and in so doing I reject the structuralist view of language where needing to be ‘accurate’ and where only the ‘expert’ speaker can be accepted as correct.
Supervisor: Davies, Julia Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available