AR4EFL Project

For teachers, the COVID-19 pandemic has become a great challenge, for which there is no preconfigured playbook that can guide the appropriate responses.

The crisis has shown, among other things, the complexity of keeping young primary school students attentive to teachers’ online explanations, which is one of the main problems teachers have encountered in their improvised online classes, since that staying focused and motivated can even be difficult. More challenging when using new methodologies for distance and blended learning, as dictated by the breakout of COVID19.

In addition, when it comes to teaching a second language, the obstacles can be even greater, since the acquisition of the language in all its contexts, and especially in the acquisition of a second language, is a complex process that can only come to be effective if appropriate methods are created for the total immersion of students in the natural language environment.

The learning process that we find in the classroom, whether based on translation-based methods or on more interactive everyday dialogues and materials, cannot yet be compared to the actual experience that students can have today with the use of of technology.

Augmented reality (AR) can be defined as “a direct or indirect view in real time of a physical environment of the real world that has been enhanced / augmented by adding virtual computer-generated information to it” [Carmigniani & Furht, 2011.].

Several studies have discovered its potential in language learning, as well as in increasing motivation among college students learning English (Li & Chen, 2014; Lu, Lou, Papa & Chung, 2011).

Aside from its ability to use complementary digital assets to explore and expand real-world scenes and places, there is an obvious connection between AR and current theories of second language acquisition that emphasize contextual and localized learning and meaningful connections with The real world.

In addition, the use of AR through mobile technologies facilitates social interactivity, allowing interaction and collaborative learning, the benefits of which for the acquisition of a second language have long been recognized (Chapelle, 2001).

However, despite the fact that several studies published in the last four years have shown that RA students improve, so far its use in language classrooms has In primary education, as our observation is based on the needs analysis that we have implemented, the majority of students are required to learn English in the vast majority of EU Member States.

In fact, learning English is compulsory within the education curriculum in several Member States, but it is also a requirement to find a job, which is why some of them have almost 100% of students learning this language already in the elementary school teachers, and our main informants highlighting the existence of this need in our needs analysis, we propose the use of tools that help to involve students, and that have also been shown to improve learning and can be used ubiquitously through mobile devices in non-formal learning environments, outside of school.

Thus, with this project we intend to train school teachers to use AR when teaching English as a foreign language to young students, who are also the final beneficiaries of the project.

Objectives

• Create a realistic learning environment for second language learners to motivate them to learn.

• Design, test and publish an AR technology-based educational package for elementary teachers that will guide and support their English (or any other) as second language instruction.

• Provide quality training to elementary school teachers on how to use the innovative educational package in the traditional or virtual / online classroom.

ResultsIO1: Desk research: a literature review comparing traditional approaches and augmented reality in language acquisition.

IO2: A manual teacher with lesson plans for language learning through ARIO3: Augmented Reality application, with which we intend to generate a methodology that makes students an active part of learning, and that also allows collaborative learning2 activities formative:

C1 to train VET trainers (3 trainers from each country) and C2 for teacher training.


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