The aim of this study is to investigate the effect of virtual reality (VR) enhanced learning environment on the 7th-grade students’ academic achievements in reading and writing in English. Within the scope of the experimental application of the research, the “planets” unit topic was selected from the 7th-grade syllabus of the 2018 Turkish English Language Teaching (ELT) curriculum for primary and secondary schools and a VR application about planets was developed for the research. In this study, a quasi-experimental research design was used. The achievement test, which was developed by the researchers before the experiment, was applied to both 15 experimental group and 11 control group students, who were volunteers and who were selected randomly in the seventh grade of a public secondary school in İzmir, Turkey. Before the study, the students in the experimental group were informed how to use VR headset and components. After a total of 3 weeks of implementation, the achievement test was applied to the students in the experimental and control groups. It is found that the experimental implementation has a positive effect on the academic achievement of the experimental group students regarding the reading and writing in English. In addition, the findings reveal that immersive VR is superior to frontal teaching by teachers and all other classical materials especially textbooks by delivering students sensory informationin three dimensions. This study is based on quantitative research. For that reason, further studies based on qualitative research design can provide extra insights to get more educational evidence on the use of VR-Applications in English teaching.
ASSOC. PROF. DR. AHMET ACAR | Head of English Language Teaching, Buca Faculty of Education at Dokuz Eylül University