Virtual Worlds and Second Language Acquisition

Authored by: Kristi Jauregi-Ondarra , Silvia Canto , Sabela Melchor-Couto

The Routledge Handbook of Second Language Acquisition and Technology

Print publication date:  February  2022
Online publication date:  February  2022

Print ISBN: 9780815360773
eBook ISBN: 9781351117586
Adobe ISBN:


 Download Chapter



In recent years, an increasing number of virtual environments have become available for educational purposes. Their multimodal, immersive and social nature has attracted considerable attention from both language teaching practitioners and researchers. This chapter presents an overview of the most relevant research conducted on the use of virtual worlds (VWs) for language teaching purposes in the past fourteen years. The first section offers an introduction to the theories underpinning pedagogical practices in VWs, namely sociocultural theory, situated learning and the notion of immersion. This is followed by a review of the most relevant research regarding VWs technological affordances for language education, how these environments promote language acquisition through interaction and their potential to develop intercultural competences. A description of the studies addressing the effect that VW interaction may have on affective variables, such as foreign language anxiety, motivation and self-efficacy beliefs, is also included. The chapter ends with a number of recommendations for practice, including pedagogical considerations, as well as future directions of research.

Search for more...
Back to top

Use of cookies on this website

We are using cookies to provide statistics that help us give you the best experience of our site. You can find out more in our Privacy Policy. By continuing to use the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.