Virtual Reality for Language Learning

Abstract

Technology can provide new opportunities for learning, and virtual reality (VR) is a new modality with great potential for immersive and interactive learning experiences. VR is engaging and can spark wonder in learners of all ages. However, we don’t yet know how much or in what ways VR can support learning a new language. The same is true for kinesthetic learning in VR. Kinesthetic learning is a learning style based on learners’ physical movement. VR can offer one of the best environments for such learning style, but it remains to be seen how effective it is in this setting. Language learning requires exposure to the language in authentic contexts and an opportunity to interact in an immersive environment. As such, VR has a great potential for language learning. The proposed paper aims to discover how both VR as a modality, and kinesthetic learning as a method can improve language learning. We will present VR-based language learning activities that we have designed, while explaining how VR as a new modality and kinesthetic learning as a learning approach are implemented in these activities. We then provide the results from our user testing that show how learners have interacted with the technology and how it has facilitated their use of the target language. We are confident that we can clarify the added value of VR and provide its pedagogical justification, thus elucidating the potential of VR in our future language education.



Author Information
Takako Aikawa, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, United States

Paper Information
Conference: ACL2020
Stream: Language and Technology

This paper is part of the ACL2020 Conference Proceedings (View)
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