Researchers at UNIVERSITI Putra Malaysia (UPM) have created an English-language enrichment game based on augmented reality (RA) and virtual reality (VR).
The innovative learning method, based on education and called Electronic Language Exploration 2020, is aimed at first and second year students, as well as those with learning difficulties.
The principal lecturer of the Faculty of Modern Languages and Communication at UPM, Dr. Ilyana Jalaluddin, said that the purpose of this game and the research that led it is to “change the scenario of learning the English language, that is, for students with few results and those with learning difficulties ”.
The exploration-based language program focuses on vocabulary, including conjunctions and nouns learned in the curriculum, while developing critical thinking skills.
He said it is not easy for students to learn English as a second language, especially those with few results or learning difficulties.
“These students need more learning aids than usual to enable them to learn in an interesting and effective environment,” he said in a university press release on August 3rd.
He added that the interactive elements of the enrichment game are supported by an RA and VR app called Hunting with E-Language to encourage critical thinking skills.
Ilyana, who is also the project’s lead researcher, said most of the learning aids available now are based on traditional methods.
“Relying on these learning materials alone is not enough, as students get bored easily and it can be difficult to understand the concept of words,” he added.
So, he said, incorporating digital elements would make the lessons more exciting for these students.
Ilyana added that learning technology for students with special needs is rarely carried out due to the lack of specific applications or programs aimed at them.
He said the reason the researchers chose to develop the game to meet the learning needs of primary school students was that the basics of literacy begin at that level.
It is also easy to spot students who are weak in language learning, especially English, at this stage, he added.
“The creation and implementation of RA elements enriches the textbook, making it more interactive to facilitate the learning process of these students in understanding vocabulary and finally being able to use words in their learning.” , he said. it is used in storybooks and in the teaching of science and mathematics but is rarely used in language learning.
“Through this E-Language Exploration 2020 series, students can not only see the vocabulary come to life, but they are also able to use and explore the vocabulary through virtual reality,” he added.
Apart from Ilyana, Dr. Ramiza Darmi, Professor at the Faculty of Modern Languages and Communication at UPM, and Professor Lilliati Ismail, Professor at the Faculty of Educational Studies, formed the research team.
The investigation was conducted from February 1, 2018 to April 30, 2021.