One-on-one foreign language speaking practice in high-immersion virtual reality
22 Pages Posted: 18 Feb 2021
Date Written: February 6, 2021
This autoethnographic study investigated the dynamics of five one-on-one tutoring sessions conducted in high-immersion virtual reality (VR). A lower-intermediate, adult learner of German practiced her foreign language speaking skills in VR with a tutor guiding and assisting her. Both the learner and the tutor visited various VR locations, which offered opportunities for situated learning. A qualitative analysis of the tutor-learner interactions confirmed that social VR applications can offer pedagogically valuable settings for the development of foreign language speaking skills. With a pedagogical mindset, we address affordances of social VR applications, including the authenticity of the settings, and practical implications of using VR as a medium for one-on-one instruction. We also discuss the limitations and technical impediments of using VR, including the lack of facial expression tracking and other nonvocal paralinguistic cues for foreign language instruction.
Keywords: virtual reality, tutoring, immersion, foreign language speaking skills, situated learning
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