New bug reporting mechanism – please try out

We have a new way of capturing technical issues with the website. It is intended for either you to report an issue you have had or to do so on behalf of a student. Could you please try it out and post any issues in reponse to this?

See instructions below from Mary Beth


Firstly go to Log on using your normal details

(1) The first is the Login Screen you will use to assess the form after you click on the link below.

(2) The next is the screen where you fill in the information concerning the issue including but limited to~~
• A Summary of the Issue
• The URL of the webpage where the issue occured
• Name of the Internet Server and Operating System being used (of person having problem)
• 1, 2, 3, steps of how YOU recreated the problem or what you did and Could Not recreate it
• Lastly, any additional information that would be helpful so the issue could be resolved
(3) After you click to submit the bug report, you will see the third screen letting you know you sucessfully submitted the report and what the number is you need to use if you have to refer to this issue in the future.

This information will also be on google docs. I will add the screen prints to the google docs as soon as I get it to work :}

Thanks!! MB

week two blog ‘Vocabulary Blast’ "What does ‘Art’ mean?"

There are three very important questions you should ask yourself when learning a new word:

  • What does it mean?
    What’s the grammar of the word?
    How would you use it?

What does it mean?

When you look up a word in a dictionary it can be confusing because there are so many different meanings for one word. Try and think about where you found the word and what the sentence was about. This post is about the word ‘art‘ because I’ve just taught two lessons on the subject of responding to and appreciating art. So the meaning of ‘art’ that best goes with my lesson is that it is a creation of a work of beauty or other special significance.

What’s the grammar of the word?

Art is a noun. We can also use this word to talk about all art so you can also call it a ‘collective noun.’ You can describe a person as ‘artful’ but, strangely, this is usually a negative adjective. Another, very positive, adjective is ‘artistic.’ Even although language changes and develops all the time to adapt to our needs, I’ve not yet heard of art used as a verb.

How would you use it?

  • We can use this words with lots of other words to create ‘phrases.’ You can talk about
    a work of art
    fine art
  • the arts
  • the art of …(with any gerund like building, drawing, dancing, shopping)
  • arts and crafts
  • graphic art
  • cyberart

The list goes on and on. For more phrases with art and suggestions for how to use it go to

I’ll leave you with the origins of the word.
Celtic Mythology: Art
[Irish, bear, in the sense of champion]A name borne by several legendary heroes, of whom the best known is Art mac Cuinn, as well as some figures in genealogies. The name is sometimes confused with Arthur but Art is not derived from Arthur.

When Harry met Sally: The Musical

cheese factor 10 and rising:

Where could you find a piano, a music and film expert, an English teacher and a technical director who can’t sing and a group of very talented Language Lab students? The answer was ‘When harry met Sally- The Musical. Our latest event combined pronunciation and stress skills with music to produce the first musical ever done in Second Life!

First, everybody watched the scene from the movie ‘When Harry met Sally’ where Harry and Sally meet in a restaurant. The students discussed what feelings Harry and Sally had towards each other and why. Then, we started to look at the sentences in more detail and discuss the meanings of words. Finally, all our students practiced saying the sentences. In particular, we focused on questions and rising intonation.

When all the students had finished, Griffin (Language Lab’s city resident and music expert) taught everyone how to sing the sentences with the music he had made for the event. To do this, we had special giant screens with all the words and how they should be sung. We also had Griffin singing and playing the piano. After a bit of practice, everyone started singing. It was brilliant!! We found that there was a little delay because of internet connections so we couldn’t all sing at the same time but this made it very funny. Congratulations Language Lab students for performing the first musical in Second Life and thanks to everyone for participating. Maybe next time we can do Terminator- The Musical?

3D teaching: Is it virtual or real? part 2

What does it take to teach in SL? What do you need to know?

By Daf Smirnov

As I promised last week, I am going to answer some questions I have been asked about teaching in SL. Let´s start with the SL skills a teacher should master to feel comfortable during a class.

Teaching in SL is a new challenge for teachers, even for those who have experience in web-based teaching. When teaching in SL you need to be aware of your own avatar, the teaching tools, the content you want to deliver, the technical problems that may arise, as well as the skills your students have so they are able to follow the pace of the class.

When I started my training in, I found that even though I had been around SL for some months, I lacked many of the skills needed to teach in this environment. So, I decided to write a list of these skills, and started to look for tutorials to learn by myself. What I learned with the tutorials I practiced in-world with the help of friends and colleagues at Languagelab This was a great experience, but every day that passed I felt I wanted to learn more and it still like that. You never stop learning in SL.

Then, I had the opportunity to design, with 2 other colleagues, a SL Skills Workshop for a teacher training program at Llab. We decided to categorize the required skills into five categories:

  • Personal Skills : everything related to your own avatar (e.g. moving, managing your profile and inventory)
  • Communication skills: communicating via chat, IM, voice call, creating and sending notes, teletransportation etc.)
  • Teaching tools: using different teaching tools (projectors, readers, dispensers)
  • Basics of building and scripting: creating and moving simple objects, and editing simple scripts
  • Media: recording, uploading, and embedding sounds

The classes were delivered by the three of us and we had the help of two other teachers from Languagelab. In-world and web-based self-access materials were provided for further practice.

I believe everyone with the desire to teach in SL should master these skills before offering his/her services. On this page you can find helpful tutorials to get yourself started: Torley Linden videos

Here are some photos from one of our SL Skills Workshop sessions

BubbleShare: Share photosFind great Clip Art Images.

Bye for now!

off but then on

Hi, Folks.

I’m enjoying myself at the University of Essex and doing IELTS examining every Saturday during the busy summer months. CUP have also given me a tiny thing to edit – although I have a few months for that.

But I’m missing you all. I promise to start making more regular appearances, soon-ish.

To help me catch up :-), …

What’s happening with the blog posts to the website? – I’ve seen Daf’s and Paul’s posts and they’re very good
Special Interest Areas?
What we’re teaching after August?

Catch you on-sim/inworld very soon.


Starring Salsita Almendros as herself

This week’s lesson was at the LanguageLab art gallery. It was a chance to socialise, discuss art and practice expressing opinions in English, all from the comfort of home.

We looked at some paintings by Picasso and Banksy and discussed why we liked or didn’t like them. It was interesting to hear everybody’s ideas about what the paintings meant and how they made them feel. Everyone agreed that they liked both paintings but that they wouldn’t hang either of them up in their houses!

It was a bit hard for people to express their thoughts in English, so I handed out a list of phrases for expressing opinions and agreeing or disagreeing with someone and we tried to say things about the paintings using the words from the list.

Once everyone had the hang of the expressions and felt more comfortable using them we played a bit of a game. The idea was to walk around the gallery and talk about the pictures while using as many of the new expressions as possible.

Next week I’m taking the class on a sightseeing tour of LanguageLab’s ‘ancient’ monuments. I’m looking forward to hearing everyone’s opinion about the tour but I hope they don’t use their new expressions to criticise my driving!

End Post

It would be good to be able to link to a page that actually has the expressions that we used. Can we not just create our own web page somewhere for this kind of thing? Not the blog post but any support material. For example, I linked to an explanation of ‘to get the hang of’ in the free dictionary but it’s full of advertising and the actual meaning could easily be missed.

Blog post from Salitre Almendrite

Here’s a first attempt. I’m not sure about writing from a student’s perspective but I’ve done my best. Feels pretty cheesy.

We had a great lesson at the Languagelab art gallery this week. I liked it because I got to visit a gallery, talk with friends, discuss art and practice English, all from the comfort of my own home.

We looked at paintings by Picasso and Banksy and discussed why we liked or didn’t like them. It was interesting to hear the other students’ ideas about what the paintings meant and how they made them feel. We all agreed that we liked both paintings but that we wouldn’t hang either of them up in our houses!

At first it was difficult to talk about the paintings, so our teacher gave us a list of phrases that can be used to express opinions and to agree or disagree with someone. Then we repeated some of the things that we said about the paintings at the beginning of the class. This time we tried to use some of the expressions from the new vocabulary. Having a list of expressions was really helpful.

Next week we’re going on a sightseeing bus. I hope I get the chance to drive. If the teacher says it’s too dangerous I’ll just use one of my new expressions and reply: “Do you really think so? Surely not!”