Language and Literature in the English Language Classroom

Pionia was invited to attend the first monthly event for teachers and students on the British Council Isle in the main grid of Second Life. There she attended a seminar: the Language and Literature in the English Language Classroom   at the British Council Isle   Small Events Stage, British Council Isle (184, 229, 27)

Of course she didn't go by herself she invited her friend Era Lorber a roleplayer from Avilion and was glad to find there her dear friend, Cyber Placebo. She made new friends, too... Artemisa Pessoa, Golondrina Bracken, Nic Streusel and Creed Juran

The session was really nice. She got the chance to meet (London Inventor) Francesca Beard, who's one of the UK's leading performance poets. You can find some of her work at the BritLit site, they supports a major piece of her performance poetry. The materials there have been designed to support a series of workshops and performances of ‘Chinese Whispers'.

According to the BriLit site

"The performance is challenging, thought provoking, interactive and amusing. For the language learner it is a tricky event to negotiate - 60 minutes of fast monologue, punctuated with a few songs and some fun audience participation. Yet the topics dealt with are serious - identity and self-awareness, particularly when related to language and multi-culturalism. This kit helps teachers and students through some of the issues dealt with - from what happens when an altercation happens in a queue in Tesco's supermarket, through the problem of quantum mechanics and Schroedinger's cat (imagine you were the cat) to selecting your own ways to die. The kit contains downloadable worksheets and projects and some audio files of Francesca performing parts of the show. "

This is part of the transcript:
 Nic Streusel: I speak the language of.....
[3:47]  cyber Placebo is Offline
[3:47]  Pionia Destiny: I speak the language..of..
[3:47]  Nic Streusel: :)
[3:48]  Pionia Destiny: I speak the language of love to humanity
[3:48]  Nic Streusel: nice!
[3:48]  Pionia Destiny: smiles
[3:48]  Pionia Destiny: what about yours?
[3:48]  Nic Streusel: I speak the language of comfort to tea
[3:48]  Nic Streusel: I love a cup of tea!
[3:49]  Pionia Destiny: I speak the laguage of Hola to Spanish..
[3:49]  Nic Streusel: I speak the language of Shalom to Hebrew
[3:49]  Golondrina Bracken: I speak the language of music to nature
[3:49]  Pionia Destiny: smiles
[3:49]  Nic Streusel: :)
[3:50]  Golondrina Bracken: I speak the language of latte to break time
[3:50]  London Inventor: any questions from SL?
[3:50]  Pionia Destiny: chuckles
[3:51]  Nic Streusel: Thanks everyone for setting this up and thanks to Francesca!
[3:51]  Pionia Destiny: It's inetresting how we can make this experience more interacive to avatars in SL..
[3:51]  Pionia Destiny: we are not just listening..
[3:51]  Nic Streusel: can you say the question
[3:51]  Nic Streusel: true Pi
[3:52]  Pionia Destiny: these environtment allow to have further discussions on what we are listening to..
[3:52]  Nic Streusel: I was just thinking that
[3:52]  Nic Streusel: yeah
[3:52]  Nic Streusel: it's like passing notes
[3:52]  Creed Juran: any questions for Francesca?
[3:53]  Golondrina Bracken: eek she just disappeared
[3:53]  Creed Juran: shel be rb
[3:53]  Pionia Destiny: smiles
[3:53]  Golondrina Bracken: :)
[3:54]  Pionia Destiny: Francesca is great.. and poetry is a great way to teach and learn a new language
[3:54]  Golondrina Bracken: I speak the language of... was terrific for word stress
[3:54]  London Inventor: sorry bout that
[3:54]  Golondrina Bracken: as well as creativity
[3:54]  London Inventor: any questions for me?
[3:54]  Pionia Destiny: welcome back
[3:54]  Pionia Destiny: are you Francesca?
[3:55]  You decline UNIVERSITY - Hall from A group member named Lorena Miles.
[3:55]  London Inventor: yes!
[3:55]  Pionia Destiny: wowow
[3:55]  Pionia Destiny: nice meeting you...
[3:55]  London Inventor: well , speaking at least - Creed is typing
[3:55]  Pionia Destiny: i see...
[3:56]  Pionia Destiny: poetry is something that's not common in my country.. I mean students don't read's a shame, though..
[3:57]  Golondrina Bracken: Oh, I LOVE poetry
[3:57]  Artemisa Pessoa: I love poetry, But I don't think it's that easy to write
[3:57]  Artemisa Pessoa: although if you can decipher it, it's lovely
[3:57]  Pionia Destiny: yes.. but poetry can be very simple...
[3:57]  Golondrina Bracken: The limiting aspect is brilliant for people who are scared to make a mistake
[3:57]  London Inventor: Francesca says if they write poetry they will read poetry
[3:57]  Pionia Destiny: small words... short poems
[3:57]  London Inventor: check out britlit
[3:58]  Golondrina Bracken: OH yes, Spanish is brilliant for poetry!
[3:58]  London Inventor: for english poems
[3:58]  Pionia Destiny: writing....!!!! no .. don't think so...
[3:58]  London Inventor: thaks Pionia
[3:58]  Golondrina Bracken: Neruda... Lorca...
[3:58]  Artemisa Pessoa: I don't believe that reading and writing poetry are necessarily connected... I love writing poetry in Portuguese, But I prefer reading prose
[3:58]  Hotlips Steamweaver is Offline
[3:58]  London Inventor: - for materials to use in class
[3:59]  Golondrina Bracken: thanks!
[3:59]  Nic Streusel: thanks Creed
[3:59]  Pionia Destiny: great.. I will use some of them in class.. I will be blogging about this experience...

Also we had the chance to listen and meet the avatar of the famous writer Melvin Burgess (Melvin Chronowire), he wrote Billy Elliot... wowo I saw the movie and loved it.. got to find the book... smiles... well, a little bit about his life and work, of course taken from Wikipedia:

"Melvin Burgess (born 25 April 1954) is a British author of children's fiction. His first book, The Cry of the Wolf, was published in 1990. He gained a certain amount of notoriety in 1996 with the publication of Junk, which was published in the shadow of the film of Irvine Welsh's Trainspotting, and dealt with the trendy and controversial idea of heroin-addicted teenagers. Junk soon became, at least in Britain, one of the best-known young adult books of the decade.
Burgess again courted predictable controversy in 2003, with the publication of Doing It, which dealt with underage sex. America created a show based on the book, Life As We Know It. In his other books, such as Bloodtide and The Ghost Behind the Wall, Burgess has dealt with less realist and sometimes fantastical themes. In 2001 Burgess wrote the novelisation of the film Billy Elliot, based on Lee Hall's screenplay. Polyphony is a narrative technique used in many of his most famous novels."

Part of the conversation in SL:

[5:27]  Melvin Chronowire: any Junk fans in the house?
[5:28]  Golondrina Bracken: Fernando Pessoa
[5:28]  Melvin Chronowire: good answer
[5:29]  Golondrina Bracken: The director playing every part
[5:30]  Melvin Chronowire: I think Junk has 13 different voices
[5:30]  Golondrina Bracken: whooo
[5:31]  Melvin Chronowire: any questions for Melvin?
[5:31]  Golondrina Bracken: Would these work in adult ELT classes do you think?
[5:32]  Artemisa Pessoa: I've only read junk so I don't know Melvin's work
[5:32]  Artemisa Pessoa: But I have a question
[5:32]  Melvin Chronowire: Good one Golondarina - hold on
[5:35]  Artemisa Pessoa: Junk was written in the 80s, so at the time issues like drug addiction weren't spoken out loud... don't you think, Melvin, that today the book isn't that enlightening? I don't mean this as a criticism to you, but don't you think that young people nowadays maybe know too much, in the terms that they have too much access to all kinds of info, and not all of it correct?
[5:35]  Melvin Chronowire: great for all ages
[5:36]  Golondrina Bracken: Thanks.
[5:36]  Melvin Chronowire: Artmisa, good question, hold on.
[5:36]  Artemisa Pessoa: will
[5:40]  Melvin Chronowire: novels put things in context
[5:40]  Artemisa Pessoa: i'm listening
[5:40]  Evalina Rossini: good points!
[5:40]  Artemisa Pessoa: I believe is great that Melvin can stand for his points so brightly
[5:41]  Artemisa Pessoa: applause
[5:41]  Golondrina Bracken: We didn't hear the question
[5:41]  Artemisa Pessoa: So Melvin, do youngsters more quality info, today, instead of just wandering on the internet?
[5:41]  Golondrina Bracken: ah
[5:42]  Melvin Chronowire: relationships between teacher and student in 'Doing It?
[5:42]  Evalina Rossini: I'm not sure about novels being real...isn't one of the advantages of literature that you can explore issues in a contect that is NOT real so not threatening, no real consequences
[5:43]  Melvin Chronowire: one more quick reading?
[5:43]  Golondrina Bracken: yes!
[5:44]  Melvin Chronowire: from Nichols Dane

It was an excellent experience.. it was worthy to get up at 5.00 am ... Thanks to all participants and presenters. We ended up the session with a smile on our faces...

Keep on shining love and peace!


  1. Pionia, thanks so much for this excellent report! I think that considering the short notice for everyone involved, everything worked out and there was some interesting interaction between SL and RL. The British Council Isle hopes to provide more events like this in the future.


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