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Testing Virtual Reality for Eliminating Japanese University Students' English-Speaking Anxiety: Cases of International Conference and Restaurant

Tsukasa Yamanaka 1*, Yasushi Miyazaki 2, Atsuko K. Yamazaki 3, Kayoko H. Murakami 4, Syuhei Kimura 1,
Miho Yamashita 1, and Yukie Kondo 1
1. College of Life Sciences, Ritsumeikan University, Kusatsu, Japan
2. Ritsumeikan Global Innovation Research Organization (R-GIRO), Ritsumeikan University, Kusatsu, Japan
3. Graduate School, Digital Hollywood University, Tokyo, Japan
4. Graduate School of Engineering and Science, Shibaura Institute of Technology, Saitama, Japan
5. College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Ritsumeikan University, Kusatsu, Japan
*Correspondence: yaman@fc.ritsumei.ac.jp (T.Y.)

Abstract—Reflecting COVID-19 outbreak that prevents educators from making close contacts with students, digitalization of language teaching is gradually getting educators’ attention. With respect to this situation, this research conducted an experiment of using Virtual Reality (VR) materials for 69 English as a STEM-major Foreign Language (EFL) learners at a Japanese university. Polishing usability of Virtual Reality (VR) English language education materials could improve the learners’ performance of English language use. However, careless use of VR materials could fail, unless the educators consider its technical and pedagogical limitations. The experiment used pairs of Virtual reality headset with two scenarios (international conference and restaurant). From pre-post experiment surveys on speaking anxiety scale, students with higher Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC) listening scores showed more anxiety on speaking. Also, post-experiment open-ended questionnaires suggested that usability of VR materials should be improved. 
Keywords—digital transformation, education, human computer interaction, pragmatics, public speaking, virtual reality 

Cite: Tsukasa Yamanaka, Yasushi Miyazaki, Atsuko K. Yamazaki, Kayoko H. Murakami, Syuhei Kimura,  Miho Yamashita, and Yukie Kondo, "Testing Virtual Reality for Eliminating Japanese University Students’ English-Speaking Anxiety: Cases of International Conference and Restaurant," International Journal of Learning and Teaching, Vol. 9, No. 1, pp. 49-55, March 2023. doi: 10.18178/ijlt.9.1.49-55

Copyright © 2023 by the authors. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0), which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided that the article is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.