As an international student, it can be convenient for you to learn a new language. For instance, University of Chicago researchers have shown that thinking about your problems in a foreign language allows you to make more logical decisions because you don’t have a rich palette of words to cloud your thinking.
When you learn a new language, it can also open the door to more job opportunities, in addition to enriching your study abroad experience when you can mingle with a wider group of people. outside of your usual social circle.
Naturally, schools recognize that students will benefit from mastering more than one language. However, these schools are transforming the way students learn a new language through virtual reality (VR):
Four schools where you can learn a new language through virtual reality
1. University of La Sabana
If you are a medical and psychology school student, you have heard of and experienced the integrated content and language learning (CLIL) program.
According to the university’s website, this project uses virtual reality to help medical and psychology students in two ways. It simplifies science concepts learned in class, such as the action potential, synapse, human ear and eye. Virtual reality allows students to interact, manipulate and practice with content in an immersive environment using virtual reality headset and joysticks.
This study also explores how learners can integrate content learning with vocabularies presented in English in a virtual reality learning environment. As part of the project, a survey and questionnaire help the university assess whether students have become more proficient in English.
2. Catawba Valley Community College
On December 29, 2021, WCNC-TV reported that Catawba Valley Community College is using VR headsets to provide an immersive learning environment for students learning English as a Second Language (ESL).
The Virtual Language Experience program launched in fall 2021 to improve the way students learn English by transporting them to real-world scenarios. Katie Bowan, ESL teacher, shared in her interview with WCNC-TV, “I loved leading my ESL students in learning virtual reality.”
“With virtual reality, I can take my students to all kinds of ‘real world’ places that otherwise wouldn’t have been possible in the classroom. The students practiced their English in virtual restaurants, airports, car dealerships, hotels and a doctor’s office. Students have fun and learn to use new language skills in all kinds of hands-on ways. »
3. University of Sheffield
The Virtual Reality English course is the result of a partnership between the University of Sheffield and Immerse VR, a start-up that uses virtual reality to create an immersive experience for users to learn new languages. Launched in October 2020, this research collaboration investigated how virtual reality could help distance learners located in Japan learn English.
Currently, students can choose to start their course on October 14, 2022 or January 23, 2023. This course will last eight weeks and there will be two hours of lessons per week. Using virtual reality, students will learn to speak English in different social settings, such as hotels, cafes, restaurants, parks and many more, to build their confidence in the language.
4. Simon Fraser University
As part of the English Language and Culture (ELC) program, international students at the university have the opportunity to hone their English skills in an exciting way.
Through a partnership with Virto, a Vancouver start-up, the university is testing its new language-learning app, Argotian. It’s a game that combines virtual reality and artificial intelligence technologies to create an innovative learning experience, according to the university website.
Students learn English by solving the mystery of a missing painting. To do this, they interact with various characters in a VR environment where they can practice their communication skills. The system also produces transcripts and analyzes so that instructors can assess a student’s progress.