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. Juliano Saccomani is an Assistant Instructional Professor in Portuguese and Spanish at the University of Chicago. His current research focuses on the use of Virtual Reality as an aid to the teaching of languages and cultures in the foreign language class. Dr. Saccomani is the director of the Spanish and Portuguese Virtual Reality Initiative at the University of Chicago. He also works with the representation of cultures and their implications in diverse media, such as newspapers, literature, and video games. He is also the editor-in-chief of Revista Vaeranda, an online magazine for students of foreign languages and cultures at the University of Chicago