Harnessing Virtual Reality: Tackling Foreign Language Anxiety and Elevating Public Speaking Skills (78276)

Session Information: Foreign Languages Education & Applied Linguistics
Session Chair: Damaris D E Carlisle

Friday, 29 March 2024 12:05
Session: Session 2
Room: Room B (Live Stream)
Presentation Type: Live-Stream Presentation

All presentation times are UTC + 9 (Asia/Tokyo)

Public speaking is a fundamental aspect of multilingual communication, often hindered by Foreign Language Anxiety (FLA). Using Oculus Quest 2 headsets, this research explored Virtual Reality's (VR) potential as a tool for language students to develop their public speaking skills, particularly those facing FLA. The study assessed the effects of variations in virtual audience size and ethnic diversity on English learners. While VR reduced some aspects of anxiety, larger and ethnically diverse virtual audiences increased the perceived presence, diverting the speaker's concentration. It was also observed that participants with significant in-person FLA experienced comparable levels of anxiety in VR. Participants recognised VR's usefulness for rehearsal, confidence enhancement, and content improvement. However, challenges in preparation, fluency, and anxiety handling were still present. Crucial aspects such as avatar choice, audience behaviour in VR, and differences between VR and real-life presentations were highlighted. To conclude, while VR offers exciting prospects for enhancing presentation techniques and curbing anxiety, there is a need for more realistic audience simulations and strategies to confront public speaking fears.

Damaris D E Carlisle, LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore
Seonjeong Park, Goldsmiths University of London, United Kingdom
Sylvia Xueni Pan, Goldsmiths University of London, United Kingdom
Marco Gillies, Goldsmiths University of London, United Kingdom

About the Presenter(s)
Dr Damaris Carlisle, who leads The Learning Centre at LASALLE College of the Arts, offers academic support to both students and staff. Her research focuses on digital technology in fostering an inclusive, digitally accessible campus.

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00