Educators in VR - vLanguages on the Road in ENGAGE
Gold Lotus leads the Educators in VR vLanguages track, aiming to spread awareness of how virtual reality can support foreign language learning and teaching.
We recently held our final vLanguages meetup of 2020 in ENGAGE - a virtual collaboration platform by Immersive VR Education where we explored how the features of this innovative platform can be used to learn or teach foreign languages like English better.
Ekaterina Semeniuk - a Moscow-based TESOL teacher and experienced user of VR started off by demonstrating how colour-coded sticky notes can be used within the virtual space to get students working together more actively, and building their vocabulary in more engaging ways.
We then moved onto talking about how environments like the cafe scene in ENGAGE can be a useful place to build contextual vocabulary through the use of role plays. One kind volunteer and attendee - Sergei - played the guinea pig to allow Michael of Gold Lotus - longtime VR English teacher - to show how role plays can be carried out in virtual reality to build English speaking and listening skills. One of the fantastic features of ENGAGE during this activity was the use of the spatial recording function, which allows the teacher to take a recording of the teacher and student avatars as they talking, providing them a useful opportunity to replay what they covered and build those important metacognitive skills in guiding students closer to understanding why they say the things they do in a foreign language, and supporting them with any corrections.
The group then moved their way back into the classroom to look at how scaffolding vocabulary at the beginning of VR English classes can be a way to introduce key vocabulary and grammatical structures to students - particularly by using the whiteboard feature. This was a way to introduce the topic of volcanoes before taking a trip to the foot of Mount Vesuvius in Italy in the ENGAGE 360 video room - which allows you to stream a 360 degree YouTube video directly into the space as if you were really standing there.
As always, the event was wrapped up with a Q&A session and it was a pleasure learning more from other educators and enthusiasts from around the world about what they thought the potential of VR for language learning and teaching is.
If you'd like to join the Educators in VR community, check out how on their website here.
If you'd like to learn English in VR or learn how to integrate this technology within your curriculum at your educational institution then please contact us here and we at Gold Lotus will be happy to help.