An Innovative Approach of Using a VR Platform for Students to Teach English as Teachers
Benefits of Virtual Reality (VR) for education, such as increasing engagement (Hu-Au & Lee, 2017) and increasing intercultural awareness, and reducing affective filter (Schwienhorst, 2020), are reported. In Saito’s (2021) study, university students who experienced VR English lessons using a VR platform, Immerse, reported that they were able to lower their anxiety and increase their confidence in speaking English. A new project where four third-year students with high-intermediate English proficiency who had experienced the VR English lessons in 2019 planned English lessons using the same platform and offered VR English lessons to eight second-year students with low-intermediate English proficiency. The five-month project was based on constructivism and socio constructivism, and its objective was for the third-year students to learn about English lessons through experience of teaching using the VR platform and to offer them an opportunity to work collaboratively toward the project. At the end of the project, they wrote a collaborative report with their feedback about the project. An interview with the four students working as the teachers were conducted. In this presentation, I will report the outline of the project and the results of analyzing the report and the interview in terms of what they learned from teaching English using the VR platform and whether they were able to work collaboratively through the project. Also, they indicated that the project where they worked as teachers helped them improve their speaking. From this innovative approach of using the VR platform, a new direction of future research such as whether students teaching English in VR can help them improve English and lower their foreign language anxiety and whether VR English lessons can be integrated into teacher training will be discussed.