Exploring the Promise of Augmented Reality for Dual Language Vocabulary Learning Among Bilingual Children

A Case Study


  • Sara A Smith University of South Florida
  • María Soledad Carlo University of South Florida
  • Sanghoon Park University of South Florida
  • Howard Kaplan University of South Florida




augmented reality, vocabulary, English language learners, children, dual language instruction


There is increasing evidence supporting the efficacy of augmented reality (AR) education applications, yet comparatively few reports exploring AR for early childhood. Augmented reality is uniquely suited to language instruction and the early elementary context, thus has potential to support the growing number of English language learners (ELLs) in the United States. The current study describes the early stages in the development of a dual language AR application for teaching vocabulary to ELLs. We present iterative design data and a proof-of-prototype user study including child and parent acceptance data. Findings indicate that there is potential for AR to provide English vocabulary instruction with L1 supports for children.

Author Biographies

Sara A Smith, University of South Florida

Sara A. Smith is an Assistant Professor in the University of South Florida (USF) ESOL/FL Education, Technology in Education, and Second Language Acquisition programs. The broad aims of her research are (1) to generate predictive theories of language acquisition that incorporate environmental differences; and (2) to develop technology-enhanced solutions for enabling language learning informed by the first goal.

María Soledad Carlo, University of South Florida

Maria S. Carlo is an Associate Professor in the Department of Child and Family Studies at USF. Her research focuses on the cognitive processes underlying reading in a second language and in understanding cross-language transfer of academically mediated language skills.

Sanghoon Park, University of South Florida

Sanghoon Park is an Associate Professor of the USF Learning Design and Technology program. His research involves utilizing effective and efficient instructional design approaches, motivational design interventions, and emerging technologies (i.e., pedagogical agent, augmented reality, and virtual simulation) to provide optimal learning experiences in diverse learning settings.

Howard Kaplan, University of South Florida

Howard Kaplan is the Associate Director of the Advanced Visualization Center at USF. He has a Doctorate in Engineering, a Master of Education from USF, and a BFA degree from Ringling College of Art and Design. He has developed and designed countless games and virtual and augmented reality applications.


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How to Cite

Smith, S. A., Carlo, M. S., Park, S., & Kaplan, H. (2023). Exploring the Promise of Augmented Reality for Dual Language Vocabulary Learning Among Bilingual Children: A Case Study. CALICO Journal, 40(1), 91–112. https://doi.org/10.1558/cj.22757