The Cardenio project

Cardenio: The intercultural experience

In 2007, the Cardenio project explored the potential of Second Life for enhancing the study of language learning and area studies. Supported by the Higher Education Academy, the project sought to identify the benefits for participants engaged in pursuing a shared interest in language teaching and learning.

Project aims and objectives:

  • To investigate how a group of SL residents, with a shared interest, interact with and optimise the 3D online environment to achieve their collaborative aims
  • To identify from the residents' perspective what the specific affordances of the Second Life MUVE (Multi User Virtual Environment) might be in terms of their goals
  • To observe the potential of the MUVE for the acquisition of higher-level skills including those of negotiation, conflict resolution, intercultural, personal and creative skills. (Hudson, 2006)

The project set out to do this by:

  • bringing together new SL users (language teachers and educators) and experienced SL residents to form a small self-supporting project community;
  • investigating notions of culture and personal identity in SL through a series of in-world search tasks and blog discussions;
  • exploring the potential of SL for informal learning and more specifically as a platform for specific language learning and teaching purposes.

The project community

Participants in the project consisted of volunteers from two different communities and representing a range of nationalities: professional language teachers and educators with a specific interest in exploring the potential of SL for intercultural exchange, language teaching and learning, and a community of experienced SL residents with diverse interests in aspects of the project.


  • A range of different and interesting perceptions of culture and personal identity were reflected by SL search tasks and blog postings
  • Bonds formed between group members, and contact through the in-world community continued after the project
  • Modern Language teachers produced proposals for using SL to support students' language learning and for acculturation purposes

The Cardenio Report

Ann Jeffery, Julie Watson and Cindy Crawford (2008)
The full Cardenio Report can be downloaded from the LLAS Centre website: