Honors Program


Document Type


Date of this Version

Spring 2-14-2024


Olson, Emma (2024). 3D Learning Spaces for Second Language Learning. Undergraduate Honors Thesis, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


Copyright Emma Olson 2024


Many language teaching techniques and approaches have been used and adapted to culminate in the development of Communicative Language Teaching, which focuses on developing functional proficiency and communicative competence. 3D learning spaces are becoming increasingly more popular for language learning as well, and more specifically, socially-based virtual worlds (or “metaverses”) make good educational tools for developing communicative competence, as they engage learners in situational and experiential learning through increasing authenticity, lowering anxiety levels (i.e., affective filters), and allowing for the development of tools that can support both structured and spontaneous speaking opportunities. After a brief literature review, this thesis therefore provides ideas and materials for task-based learning activities that can be done in a socially-based metaverse, called Mozilla Hubs, for beginner, intermediate, and advanced language learners. Though the materials focus on Spanish language teaching, they can also be extended to the teaching of other languages. The thesis then goes on to discuss a new “meta-game” that is currently being developed called the StoryLine Maze (created in the LingoLand world in another socially-based metaverse called Hyperfy); the background research on this game is discussed, and materials for the game that are specifically targeted at advanced Spanish language learners are provided (these materials focus on subordinate clauses). Lastly, this thesis also shares some pilot data about this meta-game by outlining initial thoughts and takeaways about it from myself and three other University of Nebraska-Lincoln students majoring in Spanish. These results provide a preliminary picture of both the design and potential use of the meta-game in language learning classrooms as a supplementary activity. In this way, the importance of 3D learning spaces for language learning and teaching will be further explored through this thesis.