Innovation in Language Learning

Edition 11

Accepted Abstracts

A “Memory Palace” for English in Immersive Worlds

Heike Philp, let\'s talk online sprl (Belgium)

Letizia Cinganotto, INDIRE (Italy)


This presentation will describe an English language training initiative carried out in school year 2016-17 with Italian primary and secondary teachers in Edmondo, the educational Open Sim created by INDIRE. The syllabus and the activities were developed with the cooperation of a network of international experts in the field of language learning and immersive teaching some of whom were part of EU funded project AVALON and CAMELOT. A particular approach adopted for the delivery of the language course in Edmondo was 'the method of loci', a visualisation technique known to the ancient Greeks and Romans and used by memory contest champions. The mind walks through the rooms of a building, a palace or shops in a street and places objects along the way only to revisit these place, in order to recall the relevant items and label them. Immersive English language teaching and learning experts, involved in the teacher training initiative, have been using this technique to help attendees memorize vocabulary and phrases.

Using the “method of loci” with a genius twist, the beginner level English course was implemented using a 2D floor plan of a house. Each week, as the course progressed, one room after the other came to life in full 3D serving as memory hooks for new vocabulary and ensuing conversations. For the intermediate course the same method was adopted to a new level, by creating a museum gallery to include a story of the evolution of art, performing arts, the art of invention and discovery and 3D arts. 

Heike Philp of let’s talk online sprl, Brussels and Letizia Cignanotto of INDIRE, Italy will highlight some of the impressive results of using the “method of loci” in virtual worlds, also highlighting the impact on the teachers as shown in some of their comments and remarks.


Immersive, virtual worlds, method of loci, visualisation, situated learning 


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