Learning a New Language in Virtual Reality

By Gizmodo Australia on at

MondlyVR is the first language app available on Google's Virtual Reality platforms: Daydream and Cardboard.

But what are the advantages of language lessons in VR?

MondlyVR offers life-like conversations with virtual characters in 30 different languages by combining a voice chatbot, speech recognition, and VR technology. The app offers instant immersion, feedback on pronunciation, suggestions that enrich learners' vocabulary and interactive scenarios that it promises will make learning languages "fun and easy".

Alex Iliescu, CEO of Mondly, says that VR is the future of language learning.

"We realised the best way to teach languages would be to create an immersive experience that replicates real life scenarios and conversations. VR gives us the best opportunity to do this," Iliescu says.

"From our experience, the biggest things that keep people from actually speaking and using new languages are fear and lack of life-like practice. VR overcomes these barriers and quickly gets learners comfortable and speaking in real life situations. We're filling the conversational gap of traditional language education."

The traditional language learner typically takes up to six months before even beginning to engage in conversations. VR, on the other hand, can provide instant immersion and conversational learning in ways that traditional methods can't.

In a study featured in the New York Times by Michael Ullman, a neuroscientist at Georgetown University Medical Center, language learning subjects were split into two groups. One group studied language in a formal classroom setting, while the other was taught through immersion.

After five months, both groups retained the language. However, the group that learned through immersion displayed the full brain patterns of a native speaker.

MondlyVR is available on Google Play for £4.99.


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