Virtual and Augmented Reality for Language Training (VAuLT)
AR & VR Language Learning Modules
- Level: All
- Available Languages: Arabic, English, French, German, Italian, Mandarin, Spanish, Russian, Ukrainian, Yucatec Maya, and more languages coming soon.
- Cost: Variable. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information
VAuLT (Virtual and Augmented Reality for Language Training) experiences deliver cultural and language learning opportunities to learners in immersive, play-oriented environments. By integrating designed analog materials, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technologies, these experiences support knowledge and skills development through communication, analysis, and collaboration.
How Does VAuLT Support Language Learning and Communication Training?
- Functional Language Learning: VAuLT modules support participants in acquiring the knowledge they need to engage in key language functions (e.g., greetings). Throughout gameplay, participants encounter critical grammar, vocabulary, and the cultural knowledge needed to practice communication strategies in a variety of contexts. For example, they might learn how to end a meeting strategically with a sequence of phrases rather than with a single word for goodbye.
- Team Building: VAuLT modules engage people with new content and with one another. Modules use play and deep thinking to deliver communication training that not only improves participants’ understanding of typical communication issues in intercultural environments, but also builds rapport and strengthens the connection among team members.
- Intentional Tourism: VAuLT modules guide participant exploration of the language and cultural content that is relevant to targeted locations. Throughout exploration, participants interact with a field folio (an experience guide) and VR and AR technologies to unlock information about critical sites and artifacts. For example, they may use iconography on the field folio to travel to a key artifact. Once they arrive at the location, AR technologies layer in additional language information once the artifact is scanned with a mobile device.
Why Mixed Reality (analog + AR and VR technologies)?
Mixed reality allows for the creation of gameplay simulations that are simultaneously media-rich and inquiry-provoking. Just as these media do in everyday life, mixed reality materials facilitate increased collaboration and create diverse onramps to participation and meaning making. For example, just like a learner may see a meme in their social life that inspires them to talk about an issue in popular culture with a friend, the learner may notice certain trends for synchronous written interpersonal communication while in gameplay (e.g., the use of emoji) that they are required to operationalized before moving on in the simulation.
These experiences leverage mixed-reality technologies to create simulations that situate learning within meaningful contexts with transferable learning applications to a broad menu of customizable outcomes.
Buscando a Guzmán
In this international spy thriller, novice secondary Spanish learners explore Latin America to ultimately apprehend Roberto Guzmán, a famed art thief. In this experience, learners utilize print (e.g., maps and bus routes) and digital media (e.g., Instagram and audio recordings) to explore travel scenarios in Latin America and to learn pragmatic strategies for forming suggestions in Spanish as they narrow in on Guzmán over 3-4 class periods.
Escape From Byru’Moxia
In this intergalactic language training module, participants explore the cultural patterns hidden in all languages related to power, social orientation, intensity of interaction, and notions of politeness (e.g., group v. individual perspectives). While working together to obtain the crystals necessary to power their ship for a return voyage home, participants discover how conflicts arise not simply from misunderstanding words, but also from misunderstanding how cultural and individual dispositions manifest in communication. Participants will come away from this experience with an improved understanding of how to manage real-world collaboration and decision making in diverse teams.
In this global mystery, K-6 learners journey through a series of related mixed-reality mysteries. As they work together to save famous recipes, uncover lost artefacts, and clean the environment in over 18 languages, they gain valuable intercultural knowledge and language awareness skills.
These playful experiences are extended (e.g., day- or week-long), praxis-oriented events that leverage mixed-reality spaces to inspire collaboration, creation, and inquiry among stakeholders with differentiated interests and needs.
In this day-long innovation summit, CASLS develops and delivers collaborative play scenarios and structured discussions in alignment with participant expertise and community development objectives. Participants are placed into groups and work together to solve problems within the game and beyond. At the end of the daylong gameplay, unstructured time is provided to support community development and extended engagement among participants.
Maker Space Mixed-Reality Game Design Camp
In this week-long camp for K-12 learners, CASLS develops and delivers design instruction and experience-oriented play to participants. Throughout the week, participants complete maker space challenges to build puzzles and design their own mixed-reality games. These playful contexts help learners develop pragmatic knowledge and skill through critical communication, analysis, and collaboration.
These mixed-reality encounters spark exploration of critical language content embedded throughout various dimensions of the local environment.
Paranormal Pragmatics: Montreal
In this modern-day ghost hunt, participants explore Montreal while learning the necessary communication strategies to appropriately request, in French, that the ghost of fur baron Simon McTavish stop haunting the city. Throughout the experience, participants encounter the folklore Simon McTavish and learn about his life, legacy, and afterlife.
Paranormal Pragmatics: University of Oregon
The modern-day ghost hunt continues! In this experience, participants explore the history of Native Americans in the Pacific Northwest involved in the fur trade by visiting target locations on the University of Oregon campus. While exploring, they gather information and strategies to participate in a leave-taking sequence with fur baron Simon McTavish (though he stopped haunting Montreal, he continued exploring the terrestrial realm by traveling to Eugene).
Behind Every Great: Washington, D.C.
In this newsworthy experience, participants discover the hidden power of language by working together as investigative reporters uncovering some of the veiled and forgotten stories in our nation’s capital. Participants traverse the city by visiting significant landmarks to investigate key locations, expand their sense of interculturality, and explore the power of language and skillful communication.
The Center for Open Educational Resources and Language Learning (COERLL) and Treetop Academics are partners on VAuLT modules for in-classroom educational contexts.