Immersive Virtual Field Trips: Teaching Science Vocabulary To Grade-School Students With Developmental Language Disorder


Background: Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) limits a person’s academic and social function.1,2 and is the most common childhood language-learning disorder, with a prevalence of 7.4%.3 Approximately half of students with DLD have a deficit in vocabulary that persists through high school.4 There is preliminary evidence that a virtual reality (VR) experience such as an immersive virtual field trip (iVFT) is beneficial for facilitating vocabulary and comprehension. To date, there is a lack of empirical evidence explicitly targeting the effects of an iVFT on academic vocabulary learning and motivation among early grade school students with DLD. This pretest-intervention-posttest study reports on two specific aims: (1) to determine if an iVFT condition is effective for improving topic-specific vocabulary when delivered via distance learning, and (2) to report on participant motivation to learn within the iVFT condition. Methods: Fifteen participants with DLD ranging from 6;00 to 8;12 years completed three 15-minute iVFT sessions over three consecutive days. The iVFT was delivered over a smart phone and used 3D cardboard goggles. In addition, participants completed a 15-question Intrinsic Motivation Inventory (IMI)5 on a five-point smile face Likert scale.6 Results: The iVFT condition was effective for improving space-themed vocabulary knowledge. Also, all study participants rated motivation as high. A rich instructional approach7 for teaching vocabulary to children with DLD provides a conceptual framework for the measured gains and level of motivation. Findings add to the body of literature on vocabulary instruction and the use of VR technology for grade school children with DLD.

Author Information
Yvonne D'Uva Howard, Salus University, United States
Amy Lustig, Salus University, United States

Paper Information
Conference: IICE2023
Stream: Design

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon