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M. Gawlik-Kobylińska

National Defence University (POLAND)
The aim of the article is to discuss the issue of machinima as a viable didactic tool in linguistic education. The idea of creating and using videos produced in a virtual environment in the classroom has been developed in the CAMELOT project (“CreAting Machinima to Empower Live Online language Teaching and learning”) involving nine European partners (project awarded by the EU Lifelong Learning Programme (KA3 ICT Multilateral).

Machinima, as a portmanteau word of ‘cinema’ and ‘machine’, refers to filming actions, role-plays and dialogues between 3D virtual characters or avatars. Creating such videos in 3D Virtual Learning Environment - VLE, involves planning and performing activities such rehearsing, scripting and storyboarding, as well as editing and refilming. The versatility of the medium allows for using it in many areas of human activity, among others, in linguistic education.

In the area of foreign languages learning and teaching this technology receives an increasing attention; it is accessible for students or teachers and it does not require possessing specific programming skills. Therefore, machinima perceived as an innovative didactic tool, can be used by instructors as a video material supported with multifarious exercises, or as a specific task assigned to the class.

In the CAMELOT project, the use of creative cinematography in linguistic education is described within the framework of Task Based Language Learning Approach, which focuses on authentic language and on asking students to do meaningful tasks using the target language. It may be assumed that the involvement of learners in machinima production, improve and strengthen their linguistic, digital, and intercultural skills. In regard to the acquisition and development of learners' competences, the paper explores pedagogical implications for teaching and learning in 3D VLE, as well as envisages the ways in which this new emerging medium could be used in classroom practice.