Oddcast is an extraordinarly creative company that develops interactive online activities for a variety of corporations. Many of the activities you’ll find on my Examples of Student Work page have been made by them.
In all three of these links you can choose the physical characteristics of “you” and have “you” speak, using a text to speech feature. You can also email “you” and post “yourself” on the Web.
The first one, The V Host Workshop, is the one with the fewest features. The second one from Gamespot has several additional things you can do with it. But the final one, Voki, has just been released by Oddcast and is in an entirely different class from the other two. You have to register for Voki, unlike the first two, but registration just takes a few seconds.
There are several ways these activities can benefit English Language Learners. They can design themselves, post their url in an online journal or a blog, and describe what their “virtual” selves look like and why. They can use the text to speech feature to write what they want to say and then listen to it. They can comment (positively) about their “virtual” classmates.