ICT for Language Learning

Edition 10

Accepted Abstracts

Attitudes of Foreign Language Learners Towards Using Virtual Reality in English Learning

Görkem Bektaş, Gazi University (Turkey)

Abstract

As the technology develops, new methodologies and innovations are introduced to foreign language teaching. One of these innovations is virtual reality (VR). Learners need to take part in a natural atmosphere to acquire a language. VR provides this atmosphere to the learners. Attitudes of learners to using VR have an important role in language teaching since both digital immigrants and digital natives benefit from that. Therefore, this study aims to learn attitudes of digital immigrants and digital natives so that we can have better insight into advantages and disadvantages of using VR in English learning.

The study was conducted with two digital natives and three digital immigrants. They practiced vocabulary and speaking during two weeks. Five sessions were conducted during these weeks. Each session lasted ten minutes so that every participant spent 50 minutes with VR. Mobile phone applications were used. These are “Language VR” for vocabulary learning and “Vtime” for speaking. At the end of the study, data was collected through an interview. The results were gained after the researcher and an expert reach a consensus.

According to the results of some participants, VR has positive effects on both digital immigrants and digital natives. It can help learners overcome speaking anxiety and it is enjoyable. According to the thoughts of all participants, it was better than they expected. Lack of internet connection, learning how to use VR and lack of mimics and gestures during speaking activity might be disadvantages. Besides that, VR should be improved for language teaching and more studies should be done about it.

Keywords: VR, attitudes, digital native, digital immigrant, vocabulary teaching, speaking 

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