We use virtual reality (VR) to study second language (L2) learning, and the effects of learning in an immersive, interactive, 3D virtual space on constructing embodied, native-like representations. Learning a second language presents a significant challenge to many people in adulthood. While real-life immersion is often emphasized as an effective L2 learning platform, little is known about the features of immersive contexts that contribute to the L2 learning process. Immersive virtual reality offers a flexible platform to simulate a real-life immersive learning situation, while allowing the researcher to have tight experimental control for stimulus delivery and learner interaction with the environment. Our immersive virtual reality conditions currently focus on participants learning Mandarin Chinese words but these can be extended to the learning of other languages and other linguistic domains. The following videos show snapshots of the VR Kitchen and the VR Zoo.
Li, P., & Lan, Y.J. (2021). Digital language learning (DLL): Insights from behavior, cognition, and the brain. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 1-18.
Jeong, H., Li, P., Suzuki, W., Kawashima, R., & Sugiura, M. (2021). Neural mechanisms of language learning from social contexts. Brain and Language, 212, 104874.
Li, P., & Jeong, H. (2020). The social brain of language: Grounding second language learning in social interaction. npj Science of Learning, 1-9.
Li, P., Legault, J., Zhao, J, & Klippel, A. (2020). Virtual reality for student learning: Understanding individual differences. Human Behavior and Brain, 1, 28-36.
Legault, J., Fang, S., Lan, Y., & Li, P. (2019). Structural brain changes as a function of second language vocabulary training: Effects of learning context. Brain and Cognition.
Legault, J., Zhao, J., Chi, Y-A., Chen, W., Klippel, A., & Li, P. (2019). Immersive virtual reality as an effective tool for second language vocabulary learning. Languages, 4(1), 13.
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Lan, Y.-J., Fang, S.-Y., Legault, J., & Li, P. (2015). Second language acquisition of Mandarin Chinese vocabulary: context of learning effects. Educational Technology Research and Development, 63(5), 671–690.