Evaluating Virtual Reality as Environment for Adults’Second Language Learning: A Literature Review

Yuxin Liu


Linguistic environments have always been considered as an important factor in second language acquisition. According
to Ortega (2009), “the five environmental ingredients that together contribute to (but do not guarantee) optimal L2 learning are:
acculturated attitudes, comprehensible input, negotiated interaction, pushed output, and a capacity, natural or cultivated, to attend
to the language code, not just the message”.(p. 79)[1] Unfortunately, these ideal language learning conditions are not always readily
available to SLLs. On the other hand, the rapid development and popularization of computer-assessed language teaching (CALL)
and multimedia language environments have led to great attention in language learning in Virtual reality environments (VRE)
in the past few years. Virtual reality (VR) is defined as a system designed to bring a simulated real-life experience, providing
terrain and physical effects to give users an immersive feel. Because of its function, VR is being rapidly introduced by researchers
and educational practitioners to promote a real, immersive learning environment that allows them to continually explore the
possibilities and effects of its application in second language learning.


Language Learning;Virtual Reality;Linguistic environments

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[1] Ortega, L. (2009). Understanding second language acquisition. London: Hodder Education.

[2] Deutschmann, M., Panichi, L., & Molka-Danielsen, J. (2009). Designing oral participation in second life a comparative study of two language proficiency courses. ReCALL, 21(2), 206–226.

[3] Chen, J. C. C. (2016). The crossroads of English language learners, task-based instruction, and 3D multi-user virtual learning in Second Life.Computers and Education, 102, 152–171.

[4] Canto, S., Jauregi, K., & Van Den Bergh, H. (2013). Integrating cross-cultural interaction through video-communication and virtual worlds in foreign language teaching programs: Is there an added value? ReCALL, 25(1), 105–121.

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[6] Peterson, M. (2010). Learner participation patterns and strategy use in Second Life: An exploratory case study. ReCALL, 22(3), 273–292.

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[8] Peterson, M. (2012). EFL learner collaborative interaction in Second Life. ReCALL, 24(1), 20–39.

[9] Lan, Y. (2014). Does second life improve mandarin learning by overseas Chinese students? Language Learning & Technology: A Refereed Journal for Second and Foreign Language Educators, 18(2), 36.

[10] Levak, N., & Son, J. B. (2017). Facilitating second language learners’ listening comprehension with Second Life and Skype. ReCALL, 29(2), 200–218.

[11] Lan, Y. J., Fang, W. C., Hsiao, I. Y. T., & Chen, N. S. (2018). Real body versus 3D avatar: the effects of different embodied learning types on EFL listening comprehension. Educational Technology Research and Development, 66(3), 709–731.

[12] Witmer, B. G. & Singer, M. J. (1998). Measuring presence in virtual environments: a presence questionnaire. Presence, 7, 3, 225–240.

[13] Wang, Y. F., Petrina, S., & Feng, F. (2017). VILLAGE—Virtual Immersive Language Learning and Gaming Environment: Immersion and presence. British Journal of Educational Technology, 48(2), 431–450.

[14] Pasfield-Neofitou, S., Huang, H., & Grant, S. (2015). Lost in second life: virtual embodiment and language learning via multimodal communication. Educational Technology Research and Development, 63(5), 709–726.

[15] Melchor-Couto, S. (2017). Foreign language anxiety levels in Second Life oral interaction. ReCALL, 29(1), 99–119.

[16] Melchor-Couto, S. (2018). Virtual world anonymity and foreign language oral interaction. ReCALL, 30(2), 232–249.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.18282/l-e.v10i2.2332


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