Parisian Narratives in Virtual Reality

Students engage in cultural and linguistic immersion through virtual reality (VR) film narratives in a beginner’s French class.

Introduction: This class is a second semester beginning French class. To encourage student’s engagement, the instructors turned to research on the psychology of language learning for inspiration.

Recent trends in the psychology of language learning have emphasized the importance of the concept of vision in the process of mastering a foreign language. The vision of the person language learners would like to become as foreign language users is one of the most reliable predictors of their long-term intended effort and one of the strongest motivational forces in language learning. Differing from a cognitive goal, a vision includes a personalized goal with a strong sensory element and imagined reality (Dornyei & Kubanyiova, 2014). According to Levin (2000), effective visions “outline a rich and textual picture of what success looks like and feels like” (p. 95) and are “so vivid as to enable the listener or reader to transport himself to the future to witness it and experience it” (p. 95). Their goal and hypothesis was that these virtual reality experiences would allow language learners to have these perceptual and emotional experiences in multiple sensory modalities (visual, auditory, tactile, etc.) that would enhance their vision and develop a more nuanced understanding of Parisian culture.

Goals:

  • To motivate, engage, and awaken enthusiasm in language requirement students
  • To provide students with active learning experiences through virtual exploration and interaction
  • To deepen their knowledge of cultural practices, products, and perspectives, and expose students to authentic language use
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