Connecting the Dots: Converse on the Verse
The EUROCALL 2023 conference on computer assisted language learning was held at the University of Iceland last month, and Immerse was there!
EUROCALL is a professional organization of teachers, researchers, and developers with a shared passion for the use of technology in language learning. Their annual conference is an annual gathering for the purpose of sharing knowledge about all things technology and language.
Christina Cavage and Dr. Tricia Thrasher also share a passion for technology-assisted language learning, so in Episode 5 of Immerse’s Connecting the Dots podcast they report on their time at EUROCALL 2023, including what Immerse presented on, how local teachers hope to go about preserving the Icelandic language, and what the hottest topic at the conference was.
Immerse Presentations at EUROCALL 2023
As Research Manager and Curriculum & Assessment Manager respectively, Tricia and Christina gave several presentations on Immerse and its contributions to the research and practice of VR language learning.
Meta-funded pilot study
Tricia gave a heavily attended presentation about a pilot study on integrating Immerse into high-school language programs.
Tricia and Dr. Randall Sadler of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are in the midst of a large-scale, multiyear research project on VR language learning funded by a generous grant from Meta.
The project’s pilot study focused on the cognitive and affective aspects of language learning in VR.
Among the interesting findings was the discovery that students learn vocabulary better and retain it longer in Immerse than in more traditional settings.
In particular, they found that this result was tied to object interaction - the more interaction, the better the learning and retention.
Tricia also discussed what they learned from the pilot study with regard to getting set up for VR language learning in a high school. She explained how researchers team with administrators and educators to handle the logistics of storage, maintenance and training when a large number of VR headsets is introduced to a school.
In addition, Tricia and Christina presented together on the pedagogy and efficacy of Immerse’s live VR language platform for learning English, French, and Spanish.
They explained the pedagogy of Immerse’s “Four Pillars of Language Learning,” Learn, Connect, Practice, and Play, and how they integrate to create a complete program of authentic, live language learning opportunities.
At the conference, Christina and Tricia were approached by a group of teachers of Icelandic, who were excited about Immerse’s potential for language preservation. They are exploring the possibility of government grant funding Iceland in order to partner with Immerse to translate the curriculum into Icelandic.
Tricia and Christina were impressed with their passion and advocacy for keeping their language alive and transmitting it to new generations.
Immerse’ Referral Rrogram
Immerse has launched a referral program to help language programs and employers provide their learners or employees with memberships to engage with our unique, highly effective language platform for Spanish, English, and French learners.
In order to let universities and other language programs see why Immerse is so beneficial for their learners, there was an Immerse exhibit at EUROCALL 2023 where conference attendees could try it out.
Tricia and Christina found it motivating and engaging seeing everyone’s reaction to using Immerse for the first time.
They also held a raffle, giving away one-month memberships for 25 students to three different universities. It was exciting to give the gift of language and to see how eager the winners were to get started right away so their students could experience Immerse.
Unsurprisingly, everyone was talking about the role of AI in language learning at EUROCALL 2023.
Christina and Tricia were pleased to note this was done in an encouraging way. Attendees were talking about how AI is best used as a tool to supplement live learning, which was validating because that is exactly how Immerse views AI.
Immerse incorporates AI practice avatars as a supplement to live classes and conversation events, not as a replacement. The avatars have been designed specifically to complement the live classes and conversation events Immerse offers, and learners can visit AI practice scenes together if they choose.
Many people who stopped by Immerse’s exhibit were really pleased to see that the human-to-human connection that is such an important part of language learning is a core component of Immerse’s design.
- Interested in signing up to give your students or employees access to convenient, effective language learning through Immerse? https://www.immerse.com/bridgethegap
- For more on the research foundations of Immerse’s award-winning VR language education platform, check out the Immerse blog: https://www.immerse.com/blog
- Try out VR language learning for yourself: https://www.immerse.com
- Sign up for the Converse on the Verse educator newsletter: https://uw1t8hy9ppo.typeform.com/to/yOExUger