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Text & Talk

An Interdisciplinary Journal of Language, Discourse & Communication Studies

Ed. by Sarangi, Srikant

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Volume 33, Issue 3


Interaction in the virtual world: an analysis of students' construal of pedagogic subject positions in a 3D virtual learning environment

Janaina Minelli de Oliveira
  • Corresponding author
  • Faculty of Educational Sciences and Psychology, Campus Sescelades, Carretera de Valls s/n, Tarragona 43007, Spain
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/ Vanessa Esteve / Mar Camacho
Published Online: 2013-05-25 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/text-2013-0016


This article discusses the results of an investigation on construal of pedagogic positions in a series of online interactions between two students performing learning activities in a three-dimensional virtual learning environment. It aims at analyzing how students offer praise while performing learning activities in the absence of a teacher or mentor. Results show that while students were highly focused in the learning activities, they construe different pedagogic positions through their language behavior, taking more proactive or reactive roles. The main area of attitudinal language used was Appreciation and most evaluative language in the corpus targets the objects created by the students themselves, falling within the Composition subtype. Positive evaluation and Negative evaluation play important roles in the performance of the learning activity: Positive evaluation is used in the corpus to provide feedback on the improvements made in the world and manage conflict or reassurance; Negative evaluation serves two key functions – the management of the revision of the work done and the control of the tasks to be performed. It is argued that the understanding of pedagogic subject positions construal is an essential step for the elaboration of pedagogic strategies, including those which incorporate the extended potentials of new technologies.

Keywords: appraisal theory; evaluation; systemic functional linguistics; educational technology; simulation; three-dimensional virtual environment

About the article

Janaina Minelli de Oliveira

Janaina Minelli de Oliveira received her PhD in Applied Linguistics from the Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil and is currently associate professor in the University Rovira i Virgili, Spain. Her research interests include semiotics, education and technology. Her most recent publication is De Oliveira, J. M., Echenique, E. G., Bettencourt, T. & Gisbert, M. 2012. Meandros de la interacción: desafíos del uso pedagógico de los entornos virtuales 3D [Meanders of interaction: challenges of pedagogical use in 3d virtual environments]. Revista Ibero-americana de Educación 60. 153–171.

Vanessa Esteve

Vanessa Esteve is an IT System Engineer and member of the Applied Research Group in Education and Technology (ARGET), Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Tarragona, Spain. She is presently working on her doctoral dissertation in the PhD program “Educational Technology: e-Learning and Knowledge Management”. Her research interests are related to the use of simulations and Digital Game-Based Learning.

Mar Camacho

Mar Camacho holds a PhD in Educational Technology. She is a teacher and researcher at the Universitat Rovira i Virgili (Tarragona – Catalonia) and a member of the Applied Research Group in Education and Technology (ARGET). Her latest research has been the use of Web 2.0 tools and resources and the use and implementation of mobile learning and emerging technologies as tools which help us transform, enrich and extend the learning experience.

Published Online: 2013-05-25

Published in Print: 2013-05-24

Citation Information: Text & Talk, Volume 33, Issue 3, Pages 353–375, ISSN (Online) 1860-7349, ISSN (Print) 1860-7330, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/text-2013-0016.

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