Immersive virtual environments provide an optimum environment for SLA, due to benefits offered by immersion

Thought process

  • VR is the most accessible and immersive technology available
    • Immersion from VR has been successfully used in simulations and training
  • SLA theory includes an immersive method, where SLA is gained through cultural immersion
    • SLA immersion method is productive
    • SLA immersion is also difficult and cost-prohibitive
    • SLA immersion contains affective drawbacks (anxiety)
      • VR practice has been shown to lower anxiety in real-world situations
  • SLA theory suggests learners need to be intrinsically-motivated
    • Classroom applications of immersion techniques (using realia) do not always instill intrinsic-motivation
      • Games create, and game mechanics can be used to instill, intrinsic-motivation
    • Real-world applications of immersion techniques remove feedback mechanisms
      • A virtual environment can add annotated and helpful interactions, balancing to n + 1 for language learning difficult
  • Can an immersive VR environment featuring game aspects create a successful and scalable “immersive approach”, with learning outcomes better than those in real-life?

Environment questions

  • How does VR interaction occur?
    • Informed by Game Design theory
    • Informed by SLA theory
  • What is practiced inside the environment?
    • Informed by SLA theory
  • Can Google or Amazon services provide a high quality of service for verbal understanding?
    • Informed by testing
  • How do we comprehend and process meaningful inputs from users to outputs from the system?
    • Informed by Game Design theory (decision trees, machine learning, fuzzy logic)
  • What aesthetic is used?

Testing questions

  • How do we measure immersion?
    • Informed by CogSci theory
  • How do we measure anxiety?
    • Informed by CogSci theory
  • How do we measure SLA outcomes?
    • Informed by SLA theory
  • How do we control for implicit VR factors, like interaction novelty?
    • Informed by CogSci theory
  • How do we measure individual design factors of the environment?
    • Aesthetics
    • Interaction method
    • Agency
    • Goals/motivations

Ideal participants

  • Classroom or self-language learners
  • People who have used VR before
  • People with an existing knowledge of the target language's phonetics?