Can you use Virtual Reality to improve the way you learn languages?

Vir­tu­al Real­i­ty has been show­ing its poten­tial to be a pow­er­ful tool for learn­ing a new lan­guage. It takes time and prac­tice before you can become flu­ent in speak­ing, writ­ing or lis­ten­ing in your tar­get language.

Peo­ple world­wide are using VR as a learn­ing resource for lan­guages and what it has to offer is impres­sive. Our phys­i­cal and eco­nom­i­cal lim­i­ta­tions no longer lim­it us. We can actu­al­ly get away from the world, in vir­tu­al real­i­ty, with our lan­guage learn­ing and keep study­ing at home, in any com­fort­able setting.

The pos­si­bil­i­ties of using VR to improve your lan­guage skills are lim­it­less and the list of ben­e­fits is long.

Some of these benefits include:

Immers­ing your­self in dif­fer­ent envi­ron­ments that reflect a real-life sit­u­a­tion.  Learn­ing about what it would be like to live a dif­fer­ent cul­ture with­out leav­ing your home or library. Devel­op­ing your abil­i­ty to visu­al­ize and take induc­tive knowl­edge from pic­tures, video or audio which pro­vide you with new per­spec­tives on top­ics that you already know well.

You can use VR to learn lan­guages in a fun and inter­ac­tive way.  Whilst sit­ting down and read­ing a book or watch­ing a film is most cer­tain­ly an effec­tive method of learn­ing, VR can make it more inter­est­ing for chil­dren and adults.

VR allows you to inter­act with vir­tu­al char­ac­ters. It can be pre­sent­ed in dif­fer­ent ways, depend­ing on the lan­guage you are try­ing to learn. Also, you are hav­ing trou­ble learn­ing your tar­get lan­guage by your­self or by using a text­book, it allows you to prac­tice con­ver­sa­tion skills and com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills whilst main­tain­ing inter­est in the top­ics of discussion.

You are able to take learn­ing for­eign lan­guages into your own hands. You can use self-study meth­ods that fit around your sched­ule.  This includes audio/video pod­casts, short (2 to 3 minute) videos and lan­guage learn­ing games. The pos­si­bil­i­ties are end­less and make your learn­ing fun.

Very often, a per­son will have to trav­el away from home in order to study a for­eign lan­guage. Not so in an immer­sive envi­ron­ment that is avail­able 24/7.  You might be study­ing in dif­fer­ent loca­tions and try­ing to get plen­ty of prac­tice by speak­ing with native speak­ers. If lan­guage learn­ing is your sole motive, VR tech­nol­o­gy to bring the expe­ri­ence of learn­ing any­where, at any time. This can be tru­ly ben­e­fi­cial not only aca­d­e­m­i­cal­ly but ther­a­peu­ti­cal­ly as it immers­es you in dif­fer­ent types of envi­ron­ments that reflect your needs whilst improv­ing your com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills.

In some cas­es, peo­ple do not have the chance to learn a for­eign lan­guage from the coun­try that speaks it or from peo­ple that live in the area.  This is due to geo­graph­i­cal or oppor­tu­ni­ty rea­sons. but using Vir­tu­al Real­i­ty can pro­vide an oppor­tu­ni­ty to expe­ri­ence this and learn­ing in an immer­sive environment.

Using VR for learn­ing lan­guages improves your abil­i­ty to com­mu­ni­cate and under­stand­ing skills in oth­er areas of life as well.  Learn­ing about a dif­fer­ent cul­ture through expe­ri­enc­ing it for your­self rather than hear­ing about it can help you bet­ter under­stand oth­ers.  The oppor­tu­ni­ties of being able to see from some­one else’s point of view are unlim­it­ed and VR pro­vides this, whilst improv­ing your lan­guage skills.

It is an effec­tive tool to help with chil­dren’s speech prob­lems, devel­op­men­tal dis­or­ders and/or learn­ing dis­abil­i­ties.  This is due to the inter­ac­tive nature of VR and the fact that it encour­ages social interactions.

You are able to take con­trol of your own learn­ing expe­ri­ence through using VR, with your poten­tial avail­abil­i­ty to be all around the world.  This means that you can receive feed­back from peers with­out the has­sle of leav­ing your home or coun­try in order to meet up with them and study.

It is inter­ac­tive and allows you to have con­ver­sa­tions with oth­er stu­dents from all around the world.  This gives you the free­dom to learn by your­self, in your own way, and choose your own experience

VR offers you the tools to learn at your own pace.  You are able to go through cer­tain parts of a lan­guage course quick­er or slow­er than you would need depend­ing on skill lev­el and this means that no mat­ter what meth­ods can be used to learn at home, there is always a vir­tu­al real­i­ty expe­ri­ence that com­ple­ments it.

VR makes learn­ing eas­i­er and pro­mote effort­less tech­niques of study­ing.  This means that it is more like­ly to stick. You can use a com­bi­na­tion of meth­ods by exper­i­ment­ing with dif­fer­ent approach­es until you find what works best for you.

New devel­op­ments in gam­ing, vir­tu­al real­i­ty or per­son­al tech­nol­o­gy will con­tin­ue to improve the way we learn lan­guages.  The ben­e­fits of using VR for learn­ing a for­eign lan­guage are sig­nif­i­cant and help us devel­op cre­ativ­i­ty alongside.

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