Harnessing Virtual Reality: Tackling Foreign Language Anxiety and Elevating Public Speaking Skills


This study investigated the efficacy of Virtual Reality (VR) in reducing Foreign Language Anxiety (FLA) and improving public speaking skills in English language learners. Using Oculus Quest 2 headsets, fifteen participants engaged in four two-minute presentation exercises across two sessions in VR environments that varied in audience size and ethnic composition. These settings facilitated interactive presentations, enabling participants to receive feedback from virtual audiences. Findings indicate that while some learners reported a reduction in perceived anxiety and enhancements in presentation skills over time, those with pronounced in-person FLA experienced similar levels of anxiety in VR contexts, suggesting a need for further investigation into these findings. Challenges were noted in preparation, fluency, and anxiety management, although VR also showed potential benefits for rehearsal, confidence building, and refining content delivery. The study emphasizes the importance of avatar customization and audience interaction within VR environments, and highlights the necessity for more refined audience simulations to increase realism. Tailored strategies for addressing FLA are important for maximizing the effectiveness of VR in language learning. This research contributes to the broader discourse on innovative educational approaches, advocating for further exploration into how VR can enhance language learning and alleviate anxiety. Overall, the research underscores VR's promising potential in refining presentation techniques and reducing FLA, paving the way for future investigations into its applications in language education.

Author Information
Damaris Carlisle, LASALLE College of the Arts – University of the Arts Singapore, Singapore
Seonjeong Park, Goldsmiths, University of London, United Kingdom
Marco Gillies, Goldsmiths, University of London, United Kingdom
Xueni Pan, Goldsmiths, University of London, United Kingdom

Paper Information
Conference: ACEID2024
Stream: Foreign Languages Education & Applied Linguistics (including ESL/TESL/TEFL)

This paper is part of the ACEID2024 Conference Proceedings (View)
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To cite this article:
Carlisle D., Park S., Gillies M., & Pan X. (2024) Harnessing Virtual Reality: Tackling Foreign Language Anxiety and Elevating Public Speaking Skills ISSN: 2189-101X – The Asian Conference on Education & International Development 2024 Official Conference Proceedings https://doi.org/10.22492/issn.2189-101X.2024.43
To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.22492/issn.2189-101X.2024.43

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon