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August 2020 - Year 22 - Issue 4

ISSN 1755-9715

Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) in Language Classrooms

Johan Setiawan is currently an undergraduate student at the English Department of Petra Cristian University, Surabaya. He is interested in the integration of technology for language teaching/learning.

Edwan Dhika Dwijayaputra Liew is an undergraduate student at the English Department of Petra Christian University, Surabaya. He established the East Film Production on December, 2019.



Undoubtedly, we now live in the 21st century where technology plays an important role in language classrooms. This short article aims to suggest some techniques to bring Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) into our language classrooms.



Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) in education are surging in popularity in language classrooms worldwide.  Many studies have shown that both AR and VR offer some key benefits such as:

  • Enhanced creative thinking
  • Increased collaboration
  • Greater autonomy
  • Focused immersion
  • Increased engagement
  • Contextualized learning

Due to all these reasons, implementing AR/VR tech into our language classroom makes so much sense for us, the teachers. 


Virtual Reality (VR)

Virtual reality (VR) is a technology which allows the user to interact with a computer-simulated environment. Most current virtual reality environments are primarily visual experiences that are displayed either on our screen or in a special tool (VR box, a VR cardboard or a VR headset).  This technology provides a virtual place that can trigger a new experience for the users.

One of free VR applications is Beyond VR which is available for android users. This free app has a relatively small size (around 120 MB after installation) and is easy to use.  Beyond VR presents key features: Desk Progress, Virtual Speech Practice, and Virtual Experience.

The virtual speech practice provides public speaking practices. Topic hints, timer, speech recorder, and virtual audience are provided. There are three available areas that we can choose as the background of our speech: modern auditorium, cooperate boardroom and simple classroom. Each area has its own characteristics, topics and difficulty level. In the virtual experience part, we can practice having job interviews or delivering graduation or farewell speeches. The desk progress is a place where we can see our achievement, scores, and progress.

This app might be adapted to support our public speaking classes. Students can use this app to find out their dB noise level or clarity score, and to evaluate their eye contact with their virtual audience. Students can also use this app to record their speech and send the recording to their teacher. At this phase, the teacher will check the result, and help the students to improve their speech and topic.

Another suggested activity is to ask some students to perform public speaking via Beyond VR while their classmates are asked to pay attention and take key notes. Later, both the speakers and the listeners can share their experiences and check whether the key notes are correct or not.


Augmented Reality (AR)

Augmented reality (AR) is the technology that expands our physical world, adding layers of digital information onto it. Unlike Virtual Reality (VR), AR does not create the whole artificial environments to replace real with a virtual one. AR appears in direct view of an existing environment and adds sounds, videos, and graphics to it.

There are many AR applications that are available for Android or IPhone users such as HPReveal, Augment, BlippAR, ZAPWorks, UniteAR, Holo and LayAR. In English classroom, for example, AR can be used to teach vocabularies in a fun way.

Here is an example on how to use AR to teach about animals in the zoo.  Teacher provides the alphabet cards from A to Z and asks students to read the alphabet using their AR application. When the students use the AR app to read the alphabet, the animation comes out. For instance, when students see the P letter using their AR app, students can see a penguin comes out from the P letter. This surely attracts our students’ attention. The lesson might continue with further pronunciation, spelling or discussion activities.



AR and VR technologies have an exciting future; and the demand for AR and VR apps in language classrooms will obviously grow in the coming years. Are we, teachers, ready to use these products?


Please check the Practical uses of Technology in the English Classroom course at Pilgrims website.

  • Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) in Language Classrooms
    Edwan Dhika Dwijayaputra Liew, Indonesia;Johan Setiawan, Indonesia

  • Some Ideas to Bring Web Applications into Our English Classrooms
    Diah Fakhmawati, Indonesia

  • Mobile Assisted English Language Learning: A Selection of Free Applications
    Stephen J. Hall, Malaysia