Guidelines for Registered Learners going to the Study Group for the First Time or those who still have Voice Chat technical issues in Second Life.
- Please try to login Second Life whenever you’re free between today until the day before class to test Voice Chat. Voice Chat is VERY important for you to participate in class and not make the lesson stalled as lesson times are limited (about an hour for Genki I and the next hour Genki II). This is a link to Voice Echo Canyon where you’re able to hear yourself and if you can’t, you’re able to try make your microphone work in Second Life by adjusting them via your Preference setting (Ctrl + P).
Here’s a 7-Minutes Video on how to adjust Voice and Sound Preference:
Voice and Sound Preferences in Second Life Viewer 3.2 - YouTube
Those who chooses not to use Voice Chat due to other reasons or can’t make Voice Chat to work before class will be sitting in the Observer seats rather than Participant seats throughout the lesson. Observers won’t be able to participate during class (no Voice Chat or Text Chat while class in progress), but Observers will get to listen and watch how the class progresses.
Only after each class ends, Observers will get to ask more questions if they needed to (while Participants could ask during the lessons). This is another reason why I highly recommend Genki I learners to arrive 30 minutes before 9pm JST for any questions you might have prior to the lessons. Or you’ll be able to ask them later in the private Facebook group if the time will be too late for you after the classes end.
By not making Voice Chat work during class will also make the lesson slow down a lot for other participants who might be in a later time zones, like Japan and Australia (being near the middle of the night or after midnight). This is especially important when Genki I session is limited to only an hour and Genki II session starting immediately in the next hour.
- The ones who have checked and made sure their Voice Chat worked fine in SL can come by 30 minutes before class as your first time to class.
Only once we’ve all get the hang of the schedule and overcome everyone’s technical problems, learners could come by to class 10 minutes before class as a normal routine. Yoshi Sensei is very punctual, so you’ll see him there even before the class starts on time.
If a learner comes in late or too close to class time while still having Voice Chat or other minor technical problems, they will also be asked to take a seat at the Observer area, rather than the Participants area so it won’t disrupt the arrangements for the ongoing lesson’s Q&A and Sensei could be clear with who will be taking their turns on Voice Chat.
Don’t worry, we will also help the Observers sort out any further technical problems AFTER the class is over so that lessons won’t be interrupted. This is another emphasis in why trying out SL earlier before class won’t make you end up getting the Observer seats and you’ll be able to participate earlier.
- As of writing, it seems there are about 30 Genki I learners and a bit more than 10 Genki II learners. Unfortunately, we cannot hold a class for 30 people in one session due to the limited 1 hour slot, as it will impact the quality of the lesson. If more than 10 people come by for a class, the remaining extra might need to go to the Observer seats for now. We’re predicting there might be more learners than we expect but perhaps some will choose not to continue with this activity after trying once or a few times.
We might decide together someday on how to split the Genki I group in half, at least. Maybe half of the learners could Participate one weekend, while the other half of the learners Observe. And then the following weekend, the two groups will switch turns to give a chance for the previous Observers to Participate and the previous Participants to Observe next. This could prevent the lesson’s pace from slowing down every week due to the volume of Participants each time. Sensei might bring this up at some point in class.
What to do if Second Life viewer makes your Voice Chat not work or lags terribly after you've tried before class (alternatives to Second Life viewer)?
The most famous Third Party viewer is Firestorm viewer. Give it a try and compare it with the original Second Life viewer to see if it works better or worse on your computer. If both viewers still give you problems with Voice Chat or other SL performance, here’s a list of the other Third Party viewers that might suit your computer better. Please choose the ones that’s Not Text Only as you need to be able to see the Whiteboard and other Avatars during classes.
Sorry for the long read as we think this is important after seeing how Genki II class went the first time. Good luck in making Second Life work for you so we’ll all have a smoother transition into the lessons very soon. See you there!
This week's Homework and References for Genki I & Genki II study groups by Yoshi Sensei.
Thank you to those who have responded earlier here in this thread and via Second Life’s IM. If you’ve sent me a message there, I’ve read them and gave your Second Life username to the Nihongo Tea Room owner. Sorry for my late response there as I only login once a week on average and will try to reply ASAP, but rest assured that your username is being added to the safelist.
The same goes for anyone who has expressed their interest to join under this thread. You have been added to the list and we’ll be waiting for you to come over to Second Life with your registered SL username. It would be great if you could edit your reply here and write your SL username too.
If it’s not too much, mentioning your country would help too (Nihongo Tea Room owner is making a list of participants in Excel) - but it’s not compulsory if you’re concerned about privacy in this forum as we’ll have our introductions in class anyway, so it could be added later.
And the most important but unfortunate announcement is that I’ll have to end any more new registrations for now, or there might not be enough space in Nihongo Tea Room garden for everyone who has responded earlier (the owner joked that we might need a stadium! ). We worry it might be hard to have a good learning experience if it’s too crowded.
But if there’s any new openings, I’ll definitely post again. The least crowded option at the moment is the weekly Shiritori Japanese x English Language exchange activity every Friday at 10.30pm JST. It’s happening in Nihongo Tea Room as well, and I think you don’t have to register or give your Second Life username to join this activity.
It is less-structured compared to learning via Genki textbook but it will be good as another Japanese speaking exercise. This activity has the most Japanese native speakers attending in Nihongo Tea Room due to them wanting to brush up their English while casually teaching you Japanese.
Sincere apology for those who aren’t able to join this Genki study group any more but I personally think there are more efficient ways to learn Japanese than this. All the best in everyone’s learning journey and thank you for your time reading this.
For those who wishes to join the weekly Friday night Shiritori Japanese x English language exchange activity with more native Japanese speakers, you may jump straight to the link below for the rough guide.