UTM, Syrian Canadian Foundation explore use of virtual reality for learning English

The University of Toronto Mississauga is supporting a three-year project that explores the use of virtual reality to help new immigrants improve their spoken English. The program, developed by UTM’s department of language studies and the Syrian Canadian Foundation (SCF), uses a virtual reality platform to simulate how people interact in real, multi-user events and help newcomers to practice their English language skills. Using the software, newcomers can virtually take part in job interviews, trips to Niagara Falls, dinner parties, and more. Participants shared that they felt more confident in the virtual reality scenarios and brought the skills they learned to real life. The one setback, according to SCF executive director Marwa Khobieh, is that using VR is still expensive. The program plans to experiment with AI-assisted learning in the winter. Toronto Star Note: Archived stories may contain dead links or be missing source links.

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