Why Internet English Learning? Pros and Cons

12:17 GMT, Wednesday, 25 February 2009, BBC News

Texting 'improves language skill'

Text speak, rather than harming literacy, could have a positive effect on the way children interact with language, says a study.

Researchers from Coventry University studied 88 children aged between 10 and 12 to understand the impact of text messaging on their language skills. They found that the use of so-called "textisms" could be having a positive impact on reading development.

The study is published in the British Journal of Developmental Psychology.

05:07 GMT, Thursday, 19 February 2009, BBC News

Online networking 'harms health'

People's health could be harmed by social networking sites because they reduce levels of face-to-face contact, an expert claims.

Dr Aric Sigman says websites such as Facebook set out to enrich social lives, but end up keeping people apart.

Dr Sigman makes his warning in Biologist, the journal of the Institute of Biology.

A lack of "real" social networking, involving personal interaction, may have biological effects, he suggests.


12:27 GMT, Tuesday, 25 November 2008, BBC News

Moving to the Second Classroom

[...]Second Life may get much less press attention than it used to - Reuters has withdrawn its much-trumpeted Second Life correspondent - but it is still
being used by many people as a space for socialising, experimentation and,of course, cartoon-like sexual encounters.

It is also the most popular virtual world for teachers and education researchers, perhaps because there are fewer orcs than you typically encounter in World of Warcraft or the more quest-oriented worlds.[...]

[...]Ms Robbins-Bell really knows her stuff, as co-author of the book Second Life for Dummies and editor of the Second Life Education Blog.

She looked at 75 different virtual "worlds" and has drawn up a classification scheme that makes clear the similarities and differences between such diverse worlds as Everquest, Club Penguin, Second Life and World of Warcraft.

She identified characteristics such as the type of interaction between characters, whether the worlds were text- or image-based, whether interactions were competitive or collaborative and whether users could change the game world themselves. [...]