Language learning in virtual reality environments: Past, present, and future

Tsun Ju Lin, Yu Ju Lan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

140 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigated the research trends in language learning in a virtual reality environment by conducting a content analysis of findings published in the literature from 2004 to 2013 in four top ranked computer-assisted language learning journals: Language Learning & Technology, CALICO Journal, Computer Assisted Language Learning, and ReCALL. Data from 29 articles were cross-analyzed in terms of research topics, technologies used, language learning settings, sample groups, and methodological approaches. It was found that the three most popular research topics for learners were interactive communication; behaviors, affections, and beliefs; and task-based instruction. However, the analysis results highlight the need for the inclusion of the impact of teacher. The data also revealed that more studies are utilizing triangulation of measurement processes to enable in-depth analysis. A trend of gathering data through informal learning procedures was also observed. This article concludes by highlighting particular fields related to VR in which further research is urgently needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)486-497
Number of pages12
JournalEducational Technology and Society
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Content analysis
  • Virtual reality
  • Virtual worlds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • General Engineering


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