Woman using VR headset in marketWith funding from a $543,439 grant awarded by the Stevens Initiative, FIU researchers will use virtual reality (VR) to create an English-Arabic language learning community: “Virtual Tabadul” (meaning exchange in Arabic). The Tabadul project will gather evidence-based research on whether virtual learning fosters second language acquisition by using virtual feedback as compared to traditional classroom style teaching methods.

The Virtual Tabadul project brings together college-aged youth in the United States and in the Middle East and North Africa for language learning and community building through VR. FIU and University of Michigan-Dearborn students enrolled in Arabic as a foreign language will be paired with college students at Oum El Bouaghi University in Algeria and Ibn Tofail University in Morocco, who are enrolled in English as a foreign language. The VR platforms will enable synchronous, one-on-one exchanges between students in 12 sessions per semester. Approximately, 1,400 students will participate over five semesters.

Read more at FIU News.