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Using augmented reality to enhance language learning

A young Asian woman is in the street, looking at her phone, as an augmented reality projection emerging from it..

Dr Lina Adinolfi, Senior Lecturer in the WELS School of Languages and Applied Linguistics, together with Professor Fridolin Wild and Robert Hillman of the OU’s Institute for Educational Technology, join researchers from seven European universities to develop teachers’ expertise in the use of augmented reality (AR) for language learning.

The Open University leads on the development of MirageXR, an open source app which enables developers and educators to build custom holographic training courses. The OU brings this app to the Augmented Reality Instructional Design for Language Learning (ARIDLL) project which aims to provide language teachers with support and materials to facilitate the use of AR in their classroom practice.

AR is slowly becoming a valuable educational tool. However, OU research has shown that current AR authoring tools in the iOS, Android and smart-glasses market have been unable to connect learning processes with strategic learning objectives. In addition, the technology itself is new, few apps for language learning exist and there are few content authoring tools to integrate AR instructional design into the teaching process.

Dr Adinolfi says, “Bringing together AR experts, language learning specialists, and teacher practitioners from across Europe, this collaborative initiative has the potential to create ever more immersive, dynamic, and engaging instructed language learning environments and experiences, while significantly advancing our understanding of the technical and cognitive processes involved.”

Funded by the European Union and Erasmus+, the three-year ARIDLL project aims to develop new AR content and empower a self-sustaining community of practice for language teachers. They will be equipped with digital tools to share learning materials and teaching experiences.

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