Our Research

Research at Immerse

Learn about our research team, partners, and ongoing studies.

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Meet the Education Team

Meet the minds leading our in-house research initiatives

Christina CavageChristina Cavage

Christina Cavage

Curriculum and Assessment Manager

Christina Cavage, in her 30+ years in the field, has served as a Director, Department Chairperson and Curriculum and Assessment Manager. She has trained teachers across the globe in leveraging digital technologies to enhance and extend learning. She has authored over two dozen ELT textbooks, in addition to dozens of digital tools. Ms. Cavage is a regular presenter at local to international TESOL conferences. Additionally, she serves as a Department of State Specialist.

Tricia ThrasherTricia Thrasher

Tricia Thrasher

Research Manager

Tricia Thrasher, PhD has spent the past 10 years teaching and researching language learning, serving as a French and English language instructor, teacher trainer, program coordinator, and research manager. She has conducted several award-winning studies examining the efficacy of VR for language learning. Tricia now uses her expertise at Immerse, the first VR platform designed specifically for live language teaching and learning, where she works as Research Manager.

Misty WilsonMisty Wilson

Misty Wilson

Head of Education and Customer Support

Misty Wilson, Ed.D has spent nearly 20 years in the language education industry, serving as an English language instructor, administrator, teacher trainer, research manager, CEA accreditation site reviewer, and language assessment consultant. An early adopter of immersive technologies, Misty now uses her expertise at Immerse, a virtual reality language learning platform where she serves as Head of Education and Customer Support.

The 3 pillars of language immersion

Authentic cultural experiences
Authentically experience new cultures

Prominent VR language learning researchers from Harvard University (2020)2 and Carnegie Mellon University (2021)3 have shown that VR is an optimal way for language learners to learn about culture - a key to improving fluency and removing barriers to human connection.
2. Mills, N., Courtney, M., Dede, C., Dressen, A., & Gant, R. (2020). Culture and vision in virtual reality narratives. Foreign Language Annals, 53(4), 733-760.
3. Caspar, S. (2021). Insider spaces: Hands-on with XR in the global languages and cultures room.
CALICO Journal, 38(1), 128-150.

A vibrant and welcoming community
Grow alongside an international community

According to the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (2022)4, community is one of the five core components that drives successful language learning. Immerse is focused on helping Members create a thriving community of learners who share a similar passion to experience the most in life through language and cultural fluency.
4. American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. (2022). World Readiness Standards for Language Learning. Alexandria, VA: ACTFL.

We combined all 3 to create the world's first VR language platform
We combined all 3 to create the world's first language immersion platform

Studies also show that virtual reality (VR):

Creates immersive, contextualized, experiential learning. 

Neuroscience research by Li & Jeong(2020)5 found that your brain processes language learning in immersive VR in the same way as when you learn your first language! This builds stronger neurological pathways for long-term fluency.

A recent eye-tracking study by Bacca-Acosta et al.(2023)6 even showed that English language learners learned prepositions significantly better in VR than on a desktop application. This is because VR can  offer a fully contextualized learning experience.
5. Li, P. & Jeong, H. (2020). The social brain on language: Grounding second language learning in social interaction.
NPJ Science of Learning, 5(8).
6. Bacca-Acosta, J., Tejada, J., Lampropoulos, G., Avila, C. (2023). A comparative eye-tracking study between a virtual reality system and a desktop environment for learning the prepositions of place in English,
CALICO Journal, 40(1), 68-90.

Reduces distractions that exist in other learning contexts.

One of the most prominent researchers in VR and language learning from the University of North Texas (2019)7 has repeatedly found that VR benefits learning by reducing distractions since it fully immerses learners in the learning context. This means that, in Immerse, you will be able to fully focus on the language you are learning and won’t be tempted to check your phone or be distracted by other things going on around you.
7. Kaplan-Rakowski, R. & Meseberg, K. (2019). Immersive media and their future. In R. Branch, H. Lee, & S. Tseng (Eds.) Educational Media and Technology Yearbook. Springer.

Improves confidence and reduces anxiety.

A recent meta-analysis (2020)8 examining previous research on foreign language anxiety and learning reported that anxiety has consistently been found to be detrimental to language learning. However, recent research conducted at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2022)9 found that being represented by an avatar in VR significantly reduces both perceived and physiological anxiety. This allows you to become fluent faster.
8. Botes, E., Dewaele, J. M., & Greiff, S. (2020). The foreign language classroom anxiety scale and academic achievement: An overview of the prevailing literature and a meta-analysis. Journal for the Psychology of Language Learning, 2(1), 26-56.
9. Thrasher, T. (2022). The impact of virtual reality on L2 French learners' language anxiety and oral comprehensibility.
CALICO Journal, 39(2), 219-238.

Supports social learning. 

Research from the University of California, Santa Barbara (2022)10 argues that social learning within VR leads to better and more practical language skills that transfer to real world situations. In Immerse, you build social connections by interacting in real-time with a global community of other language learners and expert speakers.
10. Chun, D., Karimi, H., Sañosa, D. (2022). Traveling by headset: Immersive VR for language learning. CALICO Journal, 39(2), 129-149.

research symposium presentations

Research Findings

A snapshot of the ongoing research each of our partners are conducting

a word from our partners


Hear about the positive impact of our research

Earth and Rocket ImageEarth and Rocket Image

Support Provided to Our Research Partners

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Feedback and guidance when choosing the research methodologies for your project.

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Free access to the Immerse platform for the duration of the research project.

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Teacher and student training materials (PDF guides, videos, etc.) that show how to use the app.

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Suggestions regarding where to apply for research funding and who to contact at your university for support. (Unfortunately, we cannot provide VR hardware or fund research.)  

Why do we do research?

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To ensure the development of our metaverse language-learning platform is grounded in evidence-based VR research

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To identify specific VR features particularly suited for high-quality language learning

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To inform ongoing VR research and teaching pedagogies through the dissemination of our findings

Man In a VR set

Featured Research Content

VR Headset Mockup

Become a Research Partner