Virtual Reality Software as Preparation Tools for Oral Presentations: Perceptions From the Classroom
Keywords:virtual reality, oral presentation, public speaking anxiety, English language learners, VirtualSpeech
Although there is a wealth of studies on the role of virtual reality (VR) technology in language acquisition, little research has been done on the utilization of virtual reality mobile applications in English language acquisition, especially in developing oral presentation skills. The main purpose of this case study is to investigate the usefulness of VirtualSpeech, which is a virtual reality mobile application, as a preparation tool for oral presentations via the perceptions of international students and their instructor. The participants are five Academic English Program (AEP) students and their English language instructor at Saint Michael’s College. Qualitative analyses were performed on data collected from: (1) learning logs that were shared between the students and the researcher, (2) surveys that were sent to the students and their instructor, (3) one-to-one interviews with the students, and (4) the researcher’s fieldnotes of the students’ oral presentation performances. The results of the study show that all of the participants recommend using VirtualSpeech as a tool to prepare for oral presentations. Most of the students reported higher confidence levels while speaking English after their use of VirtualSpeech. Thus, this case study can be considered as a contribution to the research on VR mobile applications in English language acquisition.
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