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Does ‘WOW’ translate to an ‘A’? Exploring the effects of virtual reality assisted multimodal text on Chinese Grade 8 EFL learners’ reading comprehension

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Su, Yudan 


In recent years, the incorporation of multimedia into linguistic input has opened a new horizon in the field of second language acquisition (SLA). In the reading aspect, the advent of virtual reality (VR) technology extends the landscape of reading repertoire by engaging learners with auditory, visual and tactile multimodal input. However, few studies have yet examined the pedagogical potential of VR technology in enhancing learners’ reading comprehension. This study aims to fill this gap by assessing the effects of VR-assisted multimodal input on learners’ expository reading comprehension. Three classes including 140 Chinese 8th grade EFL students participate in this study, and these classes are randomly assigned into two experimental groups and one control group: VR-assisted multimodal text group, video-assisted multimodal text group and print-based monomodal text group. This study adopts mixed methods methodology and triangulates pre-post-retention tests, questionnaires and interview data to compare three modes of text input on learners’ reading performance and explore learners’ cognitive processing in the multimodal learning environment. This study is the first attempt to integrate VR technology with input presentation and cognitive processing in second language reading comprehension and offered a new line of theorisation of VR-assisted multimodal learning in the cognitive field of SLA.



Multimodal input, Virtual reality, Second language acquisition, Reading comprehension, Cognitive load

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Cambridge Open-Review Educational Research e-Journal (CORERJ)

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Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge

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