Immersion has long been the killer approach to learning languages. Here, immersion means diving in at the deep end and forcing your mind to learn to swim in a new way. Dropping into an environment where you have no knowledge of the local language is a very steep learning curve, but not an impossible one. A lot can be learned quickly starting just by pointing and miming.
Immersion is also a key concept in VR. It provides a way to create experiences that approach the language learning sense of ‘Immersion’, but without leaving the convenience of the living room, opening new ways of accelerating language acquisition.
VR opens up a new dimension. Until now classroom role plays were the next best thing to interacting with real native speakers. With VR there is another place, a simulated world where your brain feels almost like you’re there. Instead of sterile classroom role plays, language learners can immerse themselves in virtual worlds and buy items in virtual shops, receive directions as they walk down virtual streets, and meet real language partners who are fluent in their target language.
In this innovation project we explored the potential of VR Gaming to enhance language learning. While the consumer VR Market remains in it’s infancy, we see amazing potential in this technology and continue to work in this space.