The Effect of Applying Augmented Reality to Chinese Character Learning on novice CFL Learners
Augmented Reality (AR) is gaining more and more attention in the field of education, for that AR can encourage motivation, comprehension and a higher involvement with the contents to be learned. As AR has been associated with the teaching of various academic disciplines, the implication on language teaching and learning is relatively rare, mostly focusing on confirming its effect on motivation. Considering its effect of visualization, the advantage of multimedia integrations, and its value of edutainment, AR is believed suitable and beneficial for the beginning-level Chinese as a Foreign Language (CFL) learners in learning Chinese characters. In the same vein, the multimodal presentation of AR may trigger different reactions on learners with distinct learning styles, including visual, aural, read/write, and kinesthetic. This study aims at investigating the effect of applying a mobile-based AR application on the beginning level CFL learners’ Chinese character learning. The learning styles of CFL learners were cross-examined with the learning effects, including recognition, comprehension, and retention. Twenty-eight CFL learners at the beginning or low-intermediate level were participated, receiving 6 weeks of AR learning experience. Twenty-four Chinese characters were selected and grouped based on their shape similarities and radicals. A mobile-based AR application were developed through three software—Unity, Vuforia, and Split Morph. The learning effects were determined by comparisons between a pretest and a posttest. The VARK questionnaire were used to determine individual learner’ learning style. Results are expected to explore the effect of using AR in learning Chinese characters and to determine the impact of learning styles on the AR learning experience. Suggestions will be made about the further development on the AR technology as not only a self-learning tool but also a teaching aid.
Chen, Yi-Chen is an Associate Professor of Department of Foreign Languages and Applied Linguistics in Yuan Ze University, Taiwan. Her major research interests cover areas from cognitive semantics, second language acquisition, to metaphor and metonymy.