Immersion into virtual reality for language learning

Yu Ju Lan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

39 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter is aimed at elaborating the effects of virtual immersion on language learning, especially on the affective dimension, including learner motivation and autonomy. Following the literature review on language learning in virtual worlds, three empirical studies are introduced focusing on (1) Chinese as a foreign language (CFL) writing with a sixth grader with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), (2) English as a foreign language (EFL) with 132 elementary school students, and (3) learning by creation with 65 fourth and fifth graders as the participants. The three studies introduced were rooted in sociocultural theory and adopted student-centered learning activities. The participants were all elementary school students, with an ASD student in the first study and ordinary students in the latter two. The learning contents are foreign languages, CFL in the first study, EFL in the second study, and 3D construction for language learning in the third one. By observing the learning process and analyzing students’ answers to the interview questions, the students’ learning motivation and autonomy were found to have been inspired. Their attitudes toward the learning contents or activities were positive, and they expressed their pleasure in virtual environments. Finally, suggestions for future research are provided based on the findings obtained from the previously mentioned studies.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdult and Second Language Learning
PublisherAcademic Press Inc.
Number of pages26
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

NamePsychology of Learning and Motivation - Advances in Research and Theory
ISSN (Print)0079-7421


  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Chinese writing
  • Mandarin
  • Prewriting
  • Virtual environments

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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