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What is the UCL Global Engagement Fund?

What is the Global Engagement Fund and How Will it Support Us?

Each year, the Global Engagement Funds support UCL academics in collaborating with colleagues across the world.

The funds are led by UCL's network of Vice-Deans (International) and regional Pro-Vice-Provosts, supported by the Global Engagement Office (GEO). Between £500 - £2,000 is available for activity in any faculty (£4,000 for applicants in the Social & Historical Sciences or Arts & Humanities faculties). UCL staff at postdoctoral level or equivalent and above are eligible for application.

How will the GEF support us?

The Global Engagement Fund has awarded our project £2,000 to support collaboration between Dr Andrea Révész of University College London's Institute of Education and academic partners in Italy, at the Augmented and Virtual Reality Lab of the Università del Salento. The collaboration involves looking at ways that virtual reality can support the teaching of English as a foreign language using the Task-Based Language Teaching framework (TBLT). TBLT is an educational framework that relies on the use of authentic target language to do meaningful tasks, and offers teachers and learners more engaging opportunities to collaborate and use a foreign language in situations which are much more closely related to real-life contexts.

In the first week of November, we will publish an article on our blog explaining more about what exactly TBLT is and the benefits it can create for foreign language learning and teaching. Stay tuned for that. This signals an interesting chapter for learning English in VR.

The funds from the Global Engagement Office will support Dr Révész and her international colleagues come together both physically and virtually in order to create engaging English-learning VR tasks. The plan is to not only build some VR tasks following TBLT methodology, but to involve schools in southern Italy to participate in a research study, helping the project collaborators and the industry at large understand more about how EdTech such as this can be applied to the language-learning and teaching experience.

Gold Lotus is delighted to be part of this groundbreaking project which will shed much-needed light on alternative ways of teaching a foreign language like English using immersive technology and is committed to supporting Dr Révész in the UK and Professor De Paolis in Italy to ensure that all project milestones are met and that we work towards an academic publication by the end of summer 2020.

Stay tuned for more articles on the blog and our dedicated Research page to learn more about this project.

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