Research

Research Interests

  • Chinese language and culture
  • Chinese as a Foreign Language
  • Language & culture learning in the foreign language classroom
  • eLearning & language and culture learning
  • Online language and culture learning
  • Online communities and language and culture learning
  • Distance education and language and culture learning
  • Online collaborative teaching and learning
  • Virtual worlds & language learning
  • Simulation & language learning
  • Virtual world simulation & language learning
  • LMS as a tool for language and culture learning
  • Task-based learning
  • Task-based language learning
  • Artificial Intelligence & language learning
  • AIML and language learning
  • Avatar-based language and culture learning
  • Performance anxiety and language learning
  • Language & culture learning and body language in 3D virtual environments
  • Applied and theoretical corpus-based translation studies
  • Legal translation

Curriculum Development

  • Online interactive exercises for Chinese Introductory 1 & 2 (Moodle)
  • Virtual world task-based language learning pedagogy, materials, lesson designs, quizzes and assessment for Chinese Introductory 1 & 2 and Chinese Introductory for Background Speakers 1 & 2
  • Online audio-visual cultural presentations & associated quizzes for Chinese Introductory 1 & 2
  • Pedagogy and lesson design for the use of a range of online tools that aid learners in accessing online multimedia materials in the Chinese language
  • Online text-based and audio-visual materials & associated quizzes for Chinese Media Studies 1 & 2
  • Pedagogy and lesson designs based on commercially available online sites such as VoiceThread, Renren Wang (Chinese Facebook), Skritter
  • Chinese language industry training short course curriculum and materials

Virtual World development

  •  – Interactive non-player characters (NPCs) capable of
    • – simultaneously interacting with large numbers of learners (up to 25) at a time
    • – acting as gatekeepers for task-based learning scenarios, freeing up instructors so that they can provide learners with individualised attention
    • – conducting targeted conversations with learners in Chinese character-based text chat
    • – conducting limited negotiation of meaning
    • – providing corrective feedback
    • – interacting with a system of virtual currency payment to ‘sell’ items to learners that are key elements of the various task scenarios
    • – engage in a range of body language and gestures that provide an extra channel of communicating meaning
  • – AIML database
    • – enabling NPCs to conduct targeted conversations with learners in Chinese character-based text chat and provide corrective feedback
    • – enabling programmed activity routines for NPCs such as simulating moving around a location to complete daily tasks
    •  – enabling NPCs to interact with the Wallet HUD (heads-up-display) that learners use to pay for items during various scenarios as part of the conversation with the learners
    • – enabling NPCs to give items and objects to learners as part of the particular communicative scenario they are engaged in
  • – Inword (in Second Life) tools and interactive objects such as:
    • – the Chinese Island HUD which provides:
      • – a means of interacting with scripted objects in the environment that can provide linguistic and scenario-related visual, textual and audio-based feedback on an individual basis (i.e. without disturbing other nearby learners)
      • – scaffolding in the form of direct access to other linguistic resources such as online dictionaries
      • – a means of reviewing vocabulary derived from interaction with scripted objects in the environment
      • – a means of triggering animations that control the learner’s avatar to provide both a higher level of realism in various scenarios and a way of marking the successful completion of a task (when the animation stops)
    • – a Gesture HUD for live teaching situations that enables both the instructor and the learners to engage in a range of gestures and body language designed to enhance communication
    • – scenario specific items including:
      • – an interactive medical history form, prescription form, and medicine receipt that simulate the forms required for various stages of the process of seeing a doctor in China
      • – interactive railway tickets that facilitate various stages of the travel scenario
      • – cooking facilities that provide a motivational form of inworld assessment in the shopping scenario where learners are required to purchase ingredients to make a traditional Chinese dish
      • – a range of items that facilitate immersive activities designed to convey cultural, historical, social and factual information about everyday life, traditional festivals and scientific achievement
      • – interactive signs and virtual audio equipment designed to enhance fixed exhibitions
  • – A range of simulated environments that reflect aspects of real world environments and facilitate task-based learning and a deeper sense of immersion, including to date:
    • – a Chinese-themed environment
    • – an modern Egyptian-themed environment
    • – an Italian environment (under construction)

Grants

  • Hong, L. Huang, H. Grant, S. et al.(2008) “The international consortium for Chinese intercultural language learning” ISIF grant, Monash University
  • Grant, S., Huang, H, Hong L. et al. (2008) “The ICT teaching through Hanyu net” ISIF grant, Monash University
  • Grant, S., Huang, H., Jiang, W., Pena, M.I., Pasfield-Neofitou, S., Abraham, J.T. (2012). LCNAU – Language Learning in Virtual Worlds: The Role of Foreign Language Anxiety and Technical Anxiety
  • Grant, S., Mayer, C. (2012). LCNAU – ARABIA: Language learning through cultural experiences in a virtual world