- Research shows that Korean 4th graders doubled their English skills after spending one month learning English in the Immerse virtual reality language learning platform.
- Immersive VR significantly increases behavioral, affective, and cognitive engagement.
- Pupils not only learn better in Immerse, but they also enjoy their English lessons more.
Successful language learning requires behavioral, affective, and cognitive engagement. Yet the lack of natural context for the language in textbooks, classes, and classrooms makes true engagement challenging, especially for younger learners.
Recently, a team of Immerse research partners from universities in South Korea and China published the results from their study on the effects of immersive VR on engagement and language learning in elementary school English learners.
The researchers found that learning in Immerse significantly enhanced the students’ engagement and learning outcomes.
In particular, the study showed that learning in Immerse’s VR language platform led to high levels of engagement, significant learning gains, and real enjoyment of the learning activities.
What does the actual research say?
Twenty-five Korean 4th graders who were learning English at a beginner level participated in the research study. Over the course of one month, they took six 45-minute English lessons in the gym, fast-food restaurant, and zoo scenes in Immerse.
The researchers collected data by analyzing video recordings, interviewing students and teachers, and administering English tests before the study began and two weeks after the students completed the lessons.
Students’ English speaking scores improved significantly in just 4 weeks
After taking the VR English classes, the learners’ scores more than doubled on all three question types on the post-test, which included meaning recognition, sentence completion, and conversation completion.
In the interviews, the students and teachers reported it was simply easier to learn and remember English phrases and vocabulary in Immerse because they were learned through direct experiences in interesting contexts.
(Image source: Lee et al., 2023)
Students stayed actively engaged throughout the lessons
Analysis of the video recordings showed that the young learners were active 97.5% of the time during the virtual reality English lessons in Immerse.
In interviews, they reported that the classes were interesting, enjoyable, and effective for learning English.
Interestingly in light of how rapidly their English improved, the students also reported that learning in Immerse was easier than in the traditional classroom.
How does Immerse improve language learning?
The researchers argue that the VR environment played a crucial role in enhancing the student’s cognitive engagement in language learning. That is, the contextualized environment engaged the learners in a more authentic and natural way.
The realism and interactivity of the virtual environment let them acquire language more naturally, while also reducing their cognitive load by providing familiar contexts for language learning. With the kinetic ability to manipulate objects, the students were intrinsically active and participated naturally in the activities.
In addition, because the students were engaged in real-life activities in Immerse, learning became more meaningful and powerful.
The impact of VR on language learning
Having access to an environment as psychologically real as virtual reality means learners can experience the authenticity of immersion language learning without geographically relocating.
In other words, immersive language learning is available to anyone anywhere through VR.
Research-backed language learning in Immerse
Thanks to Immerse, you can experience language immersion at your own level and become a confident speaker of French, Spanish, or English three to four times faster compared with methods that don’t let you experience the language in natural contexts. Plus, you’ll become part of a friendly, fun community of learners and teachers.
There’s simply no better way to learn.