Virtual Reality in the Foreign Language Classroom: An Introductory Workshop
The technology of Virtual Reality has been studied in the area of education for a few decades, and yet its use in the foreign language classroom is still considered a novelty, whether due to the lack of knowledge or resources to implement this technology. This workshop aims at targeting some of these perceived shortcomings as a way to help instructors in foreign languages to both learn about the intricacies of this technology, and the array of possibilities of VR as an innovative technological tool for the teaching of languages. With this workshop, we aim to present attendees with a pedagogical takeaway, theoretical and practical, in the use of VR for teaching foreign languages. The workshop will briefly introduce the research and theory behind the use of VR in FL education and introduce some examples of the current curricular implementation of VR in two languages, Spanish and Portuguese, at multiple levels (beginning and intermediate) at the University of Chicago. It will also provide the attendees with a hands-on experience with this technology by allowing them to create their own experimental activities in VR.
Dr. Claudia Quevedo-Webb is an Assistant Professor of Instruction in Spanish at Northwestern University. Her research areas of interest focus on new technologies in the language classroom, particularly the use of VR, as well as diversity, equity and inclusion in second language teaching and learning. She is currently the co-director of DEI-SLT, an open educational resource website supported by CERCLL (University of Arizona), that offers support to educators who want to bridge language teaching and social justice.