About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 9473-9483
Publication year: 2018
ISBN: 978-84-697-9480-7
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2018.2345

Conference name: 12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 5-7 March, 2018
Location: Valencia, Spain

FRENCH AS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE: DESIGN, DEVELOPMENT AND EVALUATION OF AN IMMERSIVE VIRTUAL REALITY LEARNING ENVIRONMENT

V. Maragkou1, M. Rangoussi2

1National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (GREECE)
2Piraeus University of Applied Sciences (GREECE)
The use of VR technologies has been rapidly expanding over the last decade across fields as diverse as Medicine, Gaming, Military or Civilian Training, Scientific research, Politics/Policy-making, Entertainment and Artistic Creation, and Education, among others. In the field of Education, VR has early been seen to be compatible with the theories of constructivism and learning by experience or learning by doing, thanks to the realistic and direct experience it offers to the learner as opposed to teacher- or the book- or even the e-learning material-mediated instruction. This is even more so for the immersive rather than the “desktop” VR setups. More recent research has shown that e-learning environments can greatly profit from the introduction of VR elements: the attention, focus and engagement of the learners can be increased if a virtual teacher or the avatar of him/her is present or makes occasional eye contact with the learners.

Within the field of Education, foreign language teaching and learning has always been a pioneering area for experimentation with new educational approaches and technologies involving new media. In foreign languages, the conventional instruction methods have been abandoned as early as the 1970’s, in favour of the Communicative Language Learning approach and its Total Physical Response and Natural Approach variants.

It is therefore not surprising that VR has made its way into foreign language education. Extensive and detailed studies related to specific foreign language learning projects, such as the Zengo Sayu project for Japanese, the Crystallize 3D video game for Japanese, or the Eveil-3D serious game for German and French, have given evidence of the feasibility and the efficiency of the VR-aided foreign language learning approach.

The aim of this research is to design and carry out an experimental investigation of the feasibility and the efficiency of immersive VR for teaching and learning French as a foreign language. An immersive VR educational environment is designed and developed for this purpose. It is named VRFLE from “Virtual Reality” and “Français Langue Etrangère” and it is addressed to adult learners that are beginners in French (level A1 in the Common European Framework for Languages - CEFL). VRFLE uses the Oculus Rift DK2 VR headset and leap motion controller. It has been put to pilot use with a group of adult learners, aged 19-54 years, with no previous experience on VR, during a project of two phases, each followed by an evaluation task. Data collected in the evaluation tasks are analyzed to answer the following research questions:
• Is it feasible for adult/beginner learners to learn French as a foreign language through the use of an immersive VR digital environment, given that they have to handle the (not user-friendly) VR equipment in real time?
• Is this learning process efficient as to the learning outcomes sought?
• Does the need to handle the VR equipment while learning disorient/disengage the learner from the learning content?
• What is the overall experience of the learners with VR and the opinion they form about VR as to its educational capacities and potential?

In the present paper are described:
(i) the design and development of VRFLE,
(ii) the two-phases learning project and the evaluation tasks,
(iii) analysis and discussion of the results in an attempt to form answers to the research questions on this basis, and
(iv) conclusions and further research perspectives.
@InProceedings{MARAGKOU2018FRE,
author = {Maragkou, V. and Rangoussi, M.},
title = {FRENCH AS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE: DESIGN, DEVELOPMENT AND EVALUATION OF AN IMMERSIVE VIRTUAL REALITY LEARNING ENVIRONMENT},
series = {12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2018 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-697-9480-7},
issn = {2340-1079},
doi = {10.21125/inted.2018.2345},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/inted.2018.2345},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {5-7 March, 2018},
year = {2018},
pages = {9473-9483}}
TY - CONF
AU - V. Maragkou AU - M. Rangoussi
TI - FRENCH AS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE: DESIGN, DEVELOPMENT AND EVALUATION OF AN IMMERSIVE VIRTUAL REALITY LEARNING ENVIRONMENT
SN - 978-84-697-9480-7/2340-1079
DO - 10.21125/inted.2018.2345
PY - 2018
Y1 - 5-7 March, 2018
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2018 Proceedings
SP - 9473
EP - 9483
ER -
V. Maragkou, M. Rangoussi (2018) FRENCH AS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE: DESIGN, DEVELOPMENT AND EVALUATION OF AN IMMERSIVE VIRTUAL REALITY LEARNING ENVIRONMENT, INTED2018 Proceedings, pp. 9473-9483.
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