Virtual Reality

Our virtual reality (VR) projects promote transcultural competence and empathy in students by providing them with access to various cultural products, practices, and perspectives through virtual immersion experiences. Project Directors work with the state-of-the-art UCSIM Center during all stages of VR materials creation.

“U.S. Latinxs Virtual Narratives in the Spanish Language Program”

The “U.S. Latinxs Virtual Narratives in the Spanish Language Program” is one of two CEDAR LRC projects that promote the development of transcultural competence by allowing L2 Spanish learners to experience what it means to be a U.S. Latinx through the immersive lens of virtual reality. Five Latinx residents of the United States who represent five distinct cultural narratives based on their unique identities, histories, and circumstances create an archive of authentic VR modules that may be used to supplement course materials or as stand-alone lessons. 

Spanish learners experience what it means to be a U.S. Latinx through the immersive lens of virtual reality.

Juan Godoy-Peñas, Ph.D. Project Director

“Being Arab-American through VR: The Role of Language and Culture”

  • Description: With nearly 3.7 million Arab Americans in the United States, Arabic is one of the most widely spoken languages nationally. However, a significant proportion of Arab Americans, especially Millennials and Generation Z, struggle to reconcile their Arabness with their American identity. “Being Arab-American through VR: The Role of Language and Culture” creates new pathways to humanize the Arab-American identity through a VR-enhanced open-access platform centered around participant-based documentaries from representative Arab Americans within the United States detailing issues they are facing regarding Arabic language and Arab-American identity. VR will be used to illustrate the experiences narrated in the documentaries, adding an immersive component.
  • Project Director: Muhammad Faruque, Ph.D.
  • Current Phase (Year 2 of 4): Content creation (footage recorded in preparation for VR editing process) and selection of passages related to course outcomes

“Cultural Immersive Experiences for Spanish Learners: Jerez de la Frontera”

  • Description: “Cultural Immersive Experiences for Spanish Learners: Jerez de la Frontera” brings VR learning experiences to traditional language learning contexts by using 360-degree footage that captures cultural products and practices of Jerez de la Frontera, in southern Spain, such as purchasing food daily in local markets, local recycling practices, and regional methods for cultivating and producing products such as wines. These videos will be edited and curated to create 20 short VR experiences (3-4 minutes each) with accompanying lesson plans and supporting materials for learners of various proficiency levels.
  • Project Director: Nuria López-Ortega, Ph.D.
  • Current Phase: (Year 2 of 4) Project team is currently working with the VR collaboration team at the UCSIM Center to edit and transform the large cache of footage captured as part of pilot project from 2021, creating user-friendly pedagogical materials.