institution: university of central florida
While virtual reality (VR) has been applied to educational settings for quite some time, its increasing accessibility has facilitated the expansion of VR into a wider range of educational areas, one of these being language learning. In 2022, there are now a number of VR apps targeted toward language learning specifically  and consumers are even adapting social VR apps for language learning goals . However, in order to understand how best to learn a language in VR, there are a number of open areas to investigate, but of interest to my research background are the virtual humans (either powered by a human or a computer) one encounters as a language partner or teacher. Specifically, in this project, I hope to provide some initial direction on the following research questions:
- What characteristics of virtual interlocutors affect a language learner’s foreign language anxiety?
- How are consumers using social VR for language learning? How do these methods for language exchange compare to other methods of exchange?
This project is ongoing and in the early planning stages. I’m currently collaborating with other researchers at the UCF SREAL lab to plan a user study. Additionally, I am planning to engage members of the online language learning community in qualitative studies to understand how they are already engaging in VR for their studies.