Improve your practice.

Enhance your soft skills with a range of award-winning courses.

Learn a Language in Realistic VR Scenarios with these Apps

June 8, 2023 - Izaskun Olarreaga

As the world becomes increasingly connected, the need to speak and understand foreign languages is more important than ever. The good news is that the way we learn languages has advanced a huge amount, due in part to the internet and how we are all connected in the modern world.

Language learners are not solely relying on taking classes, listening to recordings, reading books and solving tests. The process is getting more engaging and interactive. The best part is that people can connect with native speakers and experience the language in its natural environment.

Immersion – the key to successful language learning

“Experience the language in its natural environment” – that’s called language immersion and is only possible when you travel, right? Wrong! Virtual reality opens new doors to language learning. It allows us to travel around the world without the need to leave our house.

Think about it – you’re able to visit a restaurant in Paris through your computer and practice listening and speaking French while you’re there. You can also visit museums, historical sites, landmarks, and all kinds of places in the country of your choice. With the growth of AI speech analysis technology, you’re able to chat with virtual avatars along the way.

Learning a language in VR

Most guides on language immersion don’t mention VR as an option. They focus on the fact that language learners need to be around people who are willing to support. It’s strange to see how many learners are unaware of the possibility to learn a language in virtual reality when they already have access to platforms that make this possible.

We’ll discuss a few of them:

1. Mondly VR

Mondly VR language learning

Mondly VR stands out as a leading VR language learning platform. With its immersive and interactive approach, Mondly VR transports learners into simulated environments where they can engage in realistic conversations, practice pronunciation, and expand their vocabulary. The platform incorporates speech recognition technology, gamified lessons, and visually appealing virtual scenarios, making language acquisition an engaging and enjoyable experience.

Currently, the tool offers learners between 30 languages they would like to learn. These include Russian, Japanese, Italian, German, French, Spanish, Arabic, and more. The interactive scenarios make the process fun and enjoyable.

The huge advantage of Mondly is that it transports you into real-life situations, such as giving directions in a cab, or talking with a receptionist in a foreign hotel.

2. Noun Town

Noun Town, offers a unique approach to language learning in VR. Focusing specifically on vocabulary acquisition, Noun Town transforms language learning into an immersive experience where learners are transported to a grayscale island that progressively transforms into a vibrant, colorized environment as they complete various language learning tasks.

This visual transformation adds an element of motivation and achievement, creating a sense of progress and accomplishment as users advance through their language learning journey.

3. VirtualSpeech

English serves as the primary language for international business communication. The VirtualSpeech English for Business course is specifically designed to cater to this sector, enabling individuals from across the globe to enhance their listening and speaking abilities in a business-oriented context. This course is an essential investment in one’s career advancement.

With this course, you learn business English through tutorial classes, and practice different scenarios in VR as you progress through the course. It’s the perfect combination that supports a faster and more effective language learning process.

The platform will prepare you for different business-related situations, such as a job interview, communicating with clients, or meeting with stakeholders. You’ll be put in realistic scenarios that challenge your ability to express yourself in the most effective way. You’ll get feedback that helps you get better.

You can now practice roleplay situations with ChatGPT in different languages with the VirtualSpeech app.

VirtualSpeech is focused on improving your communication skills. In other words, their goal is to make you a more confident speaker and better listener. Its voice analysis technology can analyse your pace of voice and pick up hesitation words, giving you feedback on how to speak more clearly.

4. ImmerseMe

ImmerseMe VR language learning

ImmerseMe is another VR-based platform that offers a language learning experience. This platform provides the opportunity to learn nine different languages, including German, Spanish, French, Chinese, Japanese, English, Indonesian, Greek, and Italian.

ImmerseMe takes you on a language learning journey by placing you in various scenarios that prompt you to practice speaking in real-life situations. For instance, you might find yourself buying tapas in Spain, a bento box in Tokyo, or a baguette in Paris. Through these practical lessons, you’ll develop the skills needed to navigate real-world scenarios when you eventually visit the country of your choice.

How to benefit from a VR language learning experience

Choosing a tool and signing up to it is not an end-all solution. Learning a new skill requires a significant amount of effort on your part. The good news is that this learning won’t be in the form of traditional lessons. Here are a few tips to make your experience more effective.

Don’t be afraid to speak up

VR technology gives you a different experience than similar conversations you have with Duolingo and other popular language learning platforms. You get a life-like experience that simulates real situations. Since the tool will give you instant feedback, you won’t have much time to think. You’ll just need to act, just like you would do in a real situation.

The point is to speak up! Don’t be afraid; no one is grading you. Just talk to these virtual characters and let the conversation flow. You’ll make mistakes; that’s for sure. But don’t worry too much about them. They are a natural occurrence in the language learning process. With time and practice, you’ll be getting better. Just keep speaking!

VirtualSpeech VR language learning

Practice with ChatGPT in VR with the VirtualSpeech app.

Challenge yourself in a safe environment

We learn best by being immersed in situations that force us to use a language. However, such situations also overwhelm us. It’s not rare to see someone who does great in a language learning course but is completely stuck when found in a real-life situation that requires them to implement that knowledge. VR enables us to improve our language skills through practice. Still, you have to challenge yourself!

Through this technology, you’ll be put in real-life situations which may still be overwhelming. You might forget words you know. At first, you’ll be thinking a lot before you finally speak up. That might make you believe that the process is not effective but don’t give up! You have to make an effort and keep practicing.

What makes this process so effective is that it helps you build self-confidence over time. When you really get into a situation that demands language use, you’ll remember you’ve already been in a similar version of it. Although it was a VR experience, you’ll know how to handle it.

Use the feedback to improve

Remember, you’re not getting grades when you rely on a platform that supports language learning through VR. This is not a course you can fail. Getting better is the only option. You’re just getting constructive feedback that you will use to get better.

Expect that feedback. Appreciate it. This powerful technology will not only suggest improvements in terms of vocabulary but will also help you become a more confident speaker.

Virtual reality is not replacing standard language learning apps any time soon. Not many people have access to the equipment necessary for this type of immersion. However, these innovations give us a glimpse into the future of language learning. We know one thing for sure, it is going to be awesome!