As I have shown so far, EFL learners engage in various interactions in virtual environments for EFL writing development such as 1) authentic writing tasks with authentic audiences 2) direct or indirect feedback from native speakers 3) learning English and English society and culture as well as language 4) involving simulated society 5) creating avatar and various own objects and rooms.
However, because the primary goal of virtual environments is not to help EFL learners to improve their writing, all interaction and activities are not helpful to them. For example, sometimes, virtual environments expose EFL learners to inappropriate relation with partners and improper language input. Thus, I suggest some guidelines to obtain the desired results.
- Find someone to talk to and ask three questions.
- Interview a native speaker at some length
- Gather information from other users or from items, and write a report.
- Log and print out a conversation, highlighting new vocabulary or idiomatic expressions.
- Build rooms in response to an in-class reading.
- Hold a party; invite on-line friends.
- Start an e-mail correspondence with someone you meet in virtual environments.
- Design your own tasks, as individuals or in groups.
- Keep a journal of activities in virtual environments.
- Write a simple program that helps others learn the language (Lonnie, 1999)