Crossing Reality to Enhance Language Learning


  • Randall Sadler University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  • Tricia Thrasher Immerse, Inc.




Enhance Language Learning, Reality, Language, Learning

Author Biographies

  • Randall Sadler, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

    Randall Sadler (PhD) is Associate Professor of Linguistics and Director of TESL and ESL at the University of Illinois. He teaches courses on telecollaboration, VR and language learning, and teaching L2 reading and writing. He has published in journals including CALICO Journal, ReCALL, LLT, Computers & Education, ELT, and in numerous edited volumes. His books include Virtual Worlds, Telecollaboration, and Language Learning (2012, Peter Lang), The Handbook of Informal Language Learning (2020, Wiley Blackwell), and New Ways in Teaching with Games (2020, TESOL). He is the current President of CALICO, the Computer-Assisted Language Instruction Consortium.

  • Tricia Thrasher, Immerse, Inc.

    Tricia Thrasher (PhD) obtained her PhD from the department of French and Italian at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in May 2022. She is currently the Research Manager at Immerse, the first VR language learning platform that allows for real-time language teaching and learning. Her research interests include immersive technologies for language learning, foreign language anxiety and oral production, and subjective and objective anxiety measurements. She has published in journals such as the CALICO Journal and the Foreign Language Annals, and is currently the Chair of the CALICO Immersive Realities Special Interest Group.


ADA.gov (2022). The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects people with disabilities from discrimination, December 16. ADA.gov. https://www.ada.gov

bHaptics (2022). Full-body haptic suit, December 22. https://www.bhaptics.com

Chun, D. M., Karimi, H., & Sañosa, D. J. (2022). Traveling by headset: Immersive VR for language learning. CALICO Journal, 39(2), 129–149. https://doi.org/10.1558/cj.21306

Dhimolea, T., Kaplan-Rakowski, R., & Lin, L. (2022). A systematic review of research on high-immersion virtual reality for language learning. TechTrends, 66, 810–824. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11528-022-00717-w

Heilig, M. (1960). Stereoscopic television apparatus for individual use (U.S. 2,955,160). U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Huang, X., Zou, D., Cheng, G., & Xie, H. (2021). A systematic review of AR and VR enhanced language learning. Sustainability, 13(4639), 1–28. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13094639

Kaplan-Rakowski, R., & Gruber, A. (2019). Low-immersion versus high-immersion virtual reality: Definitions, classification, and examples with a foreign language focus (pp. 554–557). Proceedings of the Innovation in Language Learning International Conference 2019. Florence: Pixel.

Lan, Y. J. (2020). Immersion, interaction and experience-oriented learning: Bringing virtual reality into FL learning. Language Learning & Technology, 24(1), 1–15. https://doi.org/10.1016/bs.plm.2020.03.001

New London Group (1996). A pedagogy of multiliteracies: Designing social factors. Harvard Educational Review, 66(1), 60–92. https://doi.org/10.17763/haer.66.1.17370n67v22j160u

Parmaxi, A. (2020). Virtual reality in language learning: A systematic review and implications for research and practice. Interactive Learning Environments, 1–12. https://doi.org/10.1080/10494820.2020.1765392

Pimentel, K., & Teixeira, K. (1995). Virtual reality: Through the new looking glass (2nd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.

Qiu, X. Y., Chiu, C. K., Zhao, L. L., Sun, C. F., & Chen, S. J. (2021). Trends in VR/AR technology-supporting language learning from 2008 to 2019: A research perspective. Interactive Learning Environments, 1–25. https://doi.org/10.1080/10494820.2021.1874999

Sadler, R. (2012). Virtual worlds, telecollaboration, and language learning: From theory to practice. Bern: Peter Lang. https://doi.org/10.3726/978-3-0351-0406-6

Sadler, R., & Thrasher, T. (2021). Teaching languages with virtual reality: Things you may need to know. CALICO Infobytes. http://calico.org/infobytes

Studio Argento (n. d.). Virtual reality: A plausible history. http://www.studioargento.com/immersiva/foto-immersiva6_en.html

Sutherland, I. (1968). A head-mounted three-dimensional display (pp. 757–764). AFIPS Fall Joint Computer Conference. https://doi.org/10.1145/1476589.1476686

Wigham, C., Panichi, L., Nocchi, S., & Sadler, R. (Eds.) (2018). Interactions for language learning in and around virtual worlds [Special Issue]. ReCALL, 30(2), 153–249. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0958344018000022

Wilkinson, M., Brantley, S., & Feng, J. (2021). A mini review of presence and immersion in virtual reality. Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting, 65(1), 1099–1103. https://doi.org/10.1177/1071181321651148

XR Association (2022). XR and accessibility, December 22. https://xra.org/xr-and-accessibility




How to Cite

Sadler, R., & Thrasher, T. (2023). XR: Crossing Reality to Enhance Language Learning. CALICO Journal, 40(1), i–xi. https://doi.org/10.1558/cj.25517