Item Details

Application of Immersive Virtual Reality to Pragmatics Data Collection Methods: Insights from Interviews

Issue: Vol 38 No. 2 (2021)

Journal: CALICO Journal

Subject Areas:

DOI: 10.1558/cj.41136


This exploratory study investigated the usability of immersive virtual reality (VR) as a way of creating a role-play task to examine pragmatic competence, specifically the ability to produce the speech act of request. The study created a closed role-play task in two versions. One was a standard computer-based version in which participants read a written scenario displayed on the screen and produced the target speech act for the computer. The other one was a VR version in which participants put on a VR headset and produced the target speech act for the interlocutor in the virtual space. Five native and five non-native speakers of English completed both versions and participated in a follow-up interview. The purpose of the interview was to examine similarities and differences in participants' perceptions of the two role-play tasks in four areas: (1) thought processes (what they were thinking during the task), (2) recall (what they remembered about the task), (3) difficulty (what made the task difficult), and (4) enjoyment (whether the task was fun). Results revealed that the participants attended to various audio-visual cues in the VR scene and used them to guide their actions. The VR version also evoked greater emotional reactions from the participants.

Author: Naoko Taguchi

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