edukwest 38 shiv rajendran jessica driscoll languagelab pic

Shiv Rajendran and Jessica Driscoll of LanguageLab

In the past week I was on a short business trip to London meeting with some educational companies based in the UK as well as US entrepreneur / Angel investor Jason Calacanis who did his first Open Angel Forum (OAF) outside the States just there.

On October 5th I had the pleasure of being invited to the offices of Languagelab near Marylebone Station. I mention the location as Languagelab is all about learning English in a virtual environment with real people from all over the world.
Although Shiv, the founder and CEO, is not new to EDUKWEST and a regular to my review:ed format, it was the first time that I had the opportunity to experience English City, their island in Second Life (SL) and also meet with some members of the team.

Languagelab having now over three years of experience with 3D worlds, it was nice for me to see a class with six (paying) students from different countries and their US based teacher taking place but also seeing places like the library where students can download podcasts and therefore also have a self paced learning experience in addition to the live classes.

I much enjoyed the information provided by Jessica Driscoll, product development manager at Languaglab, on how English City is aligned to the common European Framework of Reference for Languages and it was interesting to hear what type of classes are currently popular amongst their students.
English City, however, is not static and I found it fascinating to see how the island grows and enjoyed the chat with one of the designers.
Speaking for myself, I had never seen learning in a virtual environment as that attractive for my individual type of learner, also partly as I had seen a few not overly interesting attempts in SL. However, I must say that doing it properly and giving the students this feeling of being immersed in the language I see Languagelab as a proper and probably one of the most successful businesses in edu 2.0 after my visit.

Last but not least, I would dearly like to thank Jessica and Shiv for this oh so British tea time in this incredibly beautiful hotel: The Landmark. The difference between English City 3D world and English tradition left its mark!

Audio only:

 

Additional Links:

Homepage: http://www.languagelab.com
Shiv Rajendran’s Blog: http://shiv.me
LanguageLab on Twitter: @LanguageLab
Shiv on Twitter: @shiv53
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Kirsten Winkler is the founder and editor of EDUKWEST. She writes about Social Media, Digital Society and Startups at KirstenWinkler.com and the future of learning at Disrupt Education. You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook or Google+