VR & ELL: Current Strategies & Future Directions Following COVID-19
Virtual reality (VR) holds the potential to deliver incidental learning experiences in which foreign language acquisition occurs via as opposed to for task performance. Consequently, this presentation aims to illustrate the use of VR as a vehicle for incidental, task-based instruction. Specifically, the capabilities of the Oculus Quest VR headset will be outlined by disclosing the background, implementation, and results of a small-scale study in which tertiary-level Japanese EFL participants utilized VR to navigate the information-gap game Keep Talking & Nobody Explodes. Key findings indicate that the convergence of VR and the game software occasioned learner collaboration and student-led resolution. More distinct to the VR method, however, was an enhanced sense of presence that allowed learners to experience temporary existence within its accompanying “world.” Following this will be a brief outlining of the future directions and capabilities of VR in the wake of COVID-19.