Showing posts from January, 2011

The Merging of the Second Life Grids - Teen and Main

Last Friday, the Second Life Teen Grid  (TG) merged with the Main Grid (MG) (you can see the area below in the bottom right of the map), putting a definitive end to a long-standing separation of teens in this virtual world, that caused more problems than it solved. The original idea of separating the13-17 year-olds was to protect them from some of the more unsavoury aspects of (second) life, but the over-strict regulations that existed to keep non-teens out of the TG meant that a lot of teenagers simply lied about their age in order to get an account in Second Life . The original decision taken by Linden Labs was to close the Teen Grid, but they reversed this decision and plumped for a merger because of pressure from educators. Now, everyone aged 16+ can join Second Life, but those under 18 have restricted access to certain areas. Some of the other teens (aged 13-15) still have access to certain islands, which have been moved, but which are not open to the

How many online learners of English are there?

As part of my role as social media consultant for the British Council's English Innovation team , I've just been involved in an interesting discussion about how many learners of English it's possible for the British Council to reach online. I thought it would be interesting to share my thoughts about this with people here, as I'm be particularly interested in finding out from people if my thinking about this is completely off, or if I'm making a reasonable guestimate .  So, here it is: David Graddol estimated the figure of  1 billion  'learners' of English in English Next (2006), saying it would increase to  2 billion  in 10-15 years. The figure of  1,000,000,000  is interesting. The total population of the world is currently  6,894,200,000  ( US Census Bureau ). So that means an estimated  14.5%  of the world is learning English. When you look for estimated figures for 'speakers' of English, you find the following figures: 371,000,000  people