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Virtual Reality for Language Teachers: Key Concepts, Applications and Limitations Josh Brunotte & Chris Hastings

Thursday, September 12, 2019

4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

232 DeBartolo Hall

Abstract

Virtual Reality has over the past five years established itself as an affordable technology that can be used practically in a variety of educational contexts. In this talk, Josh and Chris will explain key VR background concepts, its potential value to language educators, and feedback from students who have participated in their research. Finally, there will be an opportunity for attendees to try out the technology and to discuss its use in the language classroom.

The presenters will demonstrate the smartphone application Google Expeditions, so please download this from your app store before the talk if possible. Just search 'Expeditions', or please use the links below:

PRESENTERS

Josh Brunotte - Aichi Prefectural University

Josh Brunotte is an associate professor at Aichi Prefectural University in Japan, where he has been working in the Liberal Education Center since 2017. He teaches courses to undergraduates on academic English, conversational English, Japanese culture, presentation skills, and more. He graduated from the University of Texas, San Antonio in 2011 with a Master's in Teaching English as a Second Language, and has been teaching tertiary-level English as a Foreign Language courses in the Nagoya, Japan area since 2012. His research interests include the intersection of psychology and computer-assisted language teaching, with a focus on how virtual reality and other emerging technologies can help with anxiety reduction. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in social psychology from Nagoya University with a study on how public speaking phobia may be reduced by virtual reality-based exposure training and playback of VR video of speech acts. He has received a three-year grant from the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science to pursue that same research program. Josh has worked with Mr. Hastings for the last four years to explore how virtual reality can be used as a learning tool in the EFL classroom, and as a method for reducing study abroad anxiety before students embark overseas.

Chris Hastings - Aichi Prefectural University

Chris Hastings is a Japan-based educator with an instructional and research specialization in communicative language teaching, game-based learning and computer-assisted language learning. He earned a B.A. Hons jointly in English literature and Japanese language, and an M.A. in Education with a concentration in TESOL from Oxford Brookes University. Since 2011, Chris has taught at universities in Japan, including Nagoya University of Foreign Studies, Nanzan University, and Aichi Shukutoku University. Presently, he is a lecturer and member of faculty in the department of British and American Studies at Aichi Prefectural University. Chris is an active researcher and has published and presented his research multiple times in peer-reviewed journals and at international conferences. His volunteer committee work includes co-founding the Mixed Augmented and Virtual Realities special interest group within the Japanese Association of Language Teachers (JALT) and serving as its program chair. In 2018 at the JALT International Conference, Chris jointly with his longtime collaborator Josh Brunotte was awarded a Best of JALT award for their workshop titled "Applications and Task Development for Smartphone VR in the EL Classroom: an Overview". Currently, he is studying for his doctorate in education at the University of Bath in the U.K.

University of Notre Dame - Center for the Study of Languages & Cultures - 334 Bond Hall, Notre Dame, IN 46556 - Phone (574) 631-5881- cslcstaff@nd.edu

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