Study Language Abroad, Virtually

Study Language Abroad, Virtually


Language and cultural immersion through study abroad is a highly prized experience in higher education for the personal growth and global perspective it provides in an increasingly interconnected world. Yet very few students manage to participate in this experience and those who do can see their time abroad abruptly disrupted because of volatile international relations, natural disasters, and, more recently, occasional global health pandemics. This project will fall at the intersection of science, technology and Second Language Learning and Teaching (SLAT) to bring the study-abroad experience to learners on their home campus. Combining new technologies, including the power of VR, AR, and AI with research in SLAT, sociolinguistics, and intercultural communicative competence, the team will create a repository of materials and simulations focused on different regions of the world to serve as virtual language and cultural learning environments for students.

The team members will collaborate to research and document countries or regions of interest, using English and relevant world languages, to create a searchable, region- and language-specific digital repository of virtual environments that facilitate linguistic and cultural learning. The materials will be used in regular classes as well as by autonomous learners.         

Issues Involved or Addressed

Situated, immersive, and culturally-rich second language learning despite global mobility restrictions; Human language technology; Intercultural Communicative Competence; adaptive and personalized language learning.

Methods and Tech

  • SLAT
  • Language curriculum development, instructional design, and instructional technology
  • Natural language processing
  • VR/AR design
  • Media studies

Academic Majors of Interest

Open to all majors including:

  • Foreign Languages
  • Area Studies
  • Engineering
  • iSchool
  • Computer Science
  • Linguistics
  • SLAT
  • Human-Language Technology
  • Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences
  • Data Science
  • Sociology
  • Anthropology
  • Government and Public Policy
  • Human Rights

Preferred Interests and Preparation

Skills: Interdisciplinary skills, VR/AR/AI, mMachine learning, human-language technology, foreign languages, instructional technology

Attributes: Collaborative skills, creativity, and global mindedness

Team Advisor