Exploring Immersive Language Learning Using Virtual Reality
Computer-mediated reality (CMR) is a cutting-edge technology that gives numerous opportunities for language teaching and learning. Learners can enhance their language skills through immersion into contextualized environments where they enjoy rich and diverse sensational experiences. Through exposure to specific realistic computer-mediated content, they can learn how to express their authentic experiences. The added value of CMR is its three-dimensional representation, construction, and visualization of the learner’s concept. In the first part of this chapter, common CMR technologies such as virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality are reviewed. The following sections focus on the affordances of CMR for learning and the conceptual framework underpinning language learning supported by CMR. Two existing project ideas are presented to illustrate how a CMR environment may be used in different aspects of language learning, i.e., reading, speaking, and writing. These two ongoing projects demonstrate the different affordances of CMR and how to derive meaningful research objectives based on the CMR environment. Toward the end of the chapter, potential research problems are examined to help researchers and practitioners find new research directions for further development.
KeywordsComputer-mediated reality Augmented reality Virtual reality Language learning Concept representation
This paper is supported and funded by the Seed Fund for Basic Research (Ref: 201704159003), of the University of Hong Kong and the Quality Education Fund (QEF) (Project ref: 2016/0318) of the Education Bureau of Hong Kong.
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