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OU researchers to explore Augmented Reality’s potential for language learning

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Open University (OU) researchers have joined a consortium of seven university and school partners across Europe exploring the potential benefits of Augmented Reality (AR) in language learning.

Professor Fridolin Wild and Robert Hillman from The OU’s Institute of Education Technology (IET) and Dr Lina Adinolfi from the School of Languages & Applied Linguistics bring the interdisciplinary expertise behind the development of the MirageXR app to the EU-funded Augmented Reality Instructional Design for Language Learning (ARIDLL) project. The app launched in 2021 and enables developers and educators to build custom holographic training courses.

The three-year project aims to develop new AR content and empower a community of content creators to build resources for various levels of language learning, from primary and secondary to tertiary education.

Professor Fridolin Wild said: “AR has enormous potential to transform many aspects of our lives and is an exponentially growing market set to hit more than 1.7 billion users by 2023.

“From a research perspective, language learning is a fascinating area to explore how we can harness this technology to support the fundamental cognitive processes behind how we learn to read, write, and talk.

“We already know how layering stimuli, such as words, pictures and sounds on top of each other can enrich the learning process by playing to the brain’s strengths in remembering various sensory experiences at once.

“This project is an exciting opportunity to take this idea further by enabling us to augment the real world, overlaying additional information and manipulating our capacity to respond to such stimuli. We’ll learn how it works and why and establish meaningful instructional guidance to help language teachers succeed in capitalising on AR to enhance learning.”

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