What does it mean to be an Immerse Research Partner?

Immerse is a virtual world in the metaverse, created specifically for people who are serious about having fun, cultivating social connections, and becoming fluent in a new language. The Immerse platform specifically allows for real-time student-to-teacher and student-to-student interactions so that our learners can gain experience spontaneously speaking the target language of their choice. Currently, our app offers 40+ fully immersive, interactive, contextually relevant, customizable VR environments within which language learners can take language lessons, interact with others, and improve their language skills! There are also spaces where learners can practice independently or with their peers. You can watch a tutorial of Immerse here.

At Immerse, we strongly believe that effective VR language learning can only happen if our platform is developed around SLA theory and research. This is why we aim to partner with leading experts and scholars in the field who are actively researching how VR can be used for language learning. Moreover, as VR education becomes more popular, we want to ensure that this technology is being used in an effective and practical manner that actually leads to better learning outcomes. 

We are also specifically focused on:

  • Ensuring that the development of our language-learning platform is grounded in evidence-based VR research.
  • Informing ongoing VR research and teaching pedagogies through the dissemination of findings via conferences and publications.
  • Identifying specific features of VR particularly suited to language learning and building upon them. 

This is where our research partners come in. As researchers ourselves, we understand that methodologically-sound, comprehensive research takes a lot of time and resources. It would take us over a decade to tackle all the research questions we are interested in if we were to do it alone! 

Therefore, we have developed our Research Partnerships. Any scholar who is interested in conducting research on VR and language learning using the Immerse platform is encouraged to apply. If we can find a research question of mutual interest, we will give you free access to the Immerse platform for the duration of your research project. Then, you work independently on your research and we can provide assistance when needed. We also provide several other benefits to our partners. 

As a partner, all we ask in return is that you share with us what you find so that we can inform the development of immersive language teaching pedagogies and the Immerse application. We will never ask for your data sets, but simply ask that you share with us a summary of your results and findings to be used internally for product development. We like to announce when we have new research partners or when our current partners present at conferences or publish a new paper. This helps us show that our platform is grounded in language learning research and also helps promote your work by making it visible to a larger audience. However, we would never publicize your results/findings without your permission. We will keep all information about your study internal until it is complete and you make it publicly available. 

Currently, we have research partners at the following universities:

  • Carnegie Mellon University (U.S.)
  • Purdue University (U.S.)
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (U.S.)
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (U.S.)
  • University of California, Santa Barbara (U.S.)
  • University of California, Davis (U.S.)
  • University of North Texas (U.S.)
  • Aoyama University (Japan)
  • Chuo University (Japan)
  • Kanda University of International Studies (Japan)
  • Miyazaki University (Japan)
  • Nihon University (Japan)
  • University of Manchester (UK)
  • University of Sheffield (UK)
  • Cyprus University of Technology (Cyprus)
  • Moravian Training Institute (Czech Republic)
  • University of Venice (Italy)
  • Tampere University of Applied Sciences (Finland)
  • Kyung Hee University (South Korea)
  • National Taichung University (Taiwan) and University of Laval (Canada)
  • University of Toronto (Canada)

If you ever have any questions about being a Research Partner, please contact our Research Manager, Tricia Thrasher, at tricia@immerse.online