In Between Reality and Virtuality: Augmented Reality in Teaching English to Young Learners



Technology has exerted its effects in almost all areas of human life including education. The constant developments in technology have offered new designs to the field of education. The incorporation of Web 2.0 technology and electronic devices has paved the way for the development of such specific technology-based designs as computer-assisted learning and mobile-assisted learning. As a concept gaining momentum especially in the last two decades, Augmented Reality (AR) is also involved in the continuum of technological developments which can be adopted in the educational arena in general and language education in particular. This technology presents the incorporation of reality and virtuality and; therefore, combines the advantageous sides of both spheres. Considering in language education, AR technology can be utilized in all educational levels involving the primary level where the issue of teaching language/s to young learners holds significance. Set on AR and TEYL literature, this study is intended to handle the AR technology in teaching English to young learners. The study presents related AR literature offering existing definitions of the concept. The possible advantages and disadvantages of AR integrated in TEYL are also presented. These possible advantages involve the reference of multiple intelligences; the possibility of learning the language by observing and exploring; enhancement in language performance and achievement; interaction with language, teachers and peers; self-learning and motivation. The disadvantages are about its usability and practicality; technical problems; lack of training and the risk of isolation. The study concludes with some pedagogical suggestions for the effective implementation of AR technology in young learner language classes referring to the characteristics of the particular profile.

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