Enhancing English Verbal Communication Skills through Virtual Reality: A Study on Engagement, Motivation, and Autonomy among English as a Second Language Learners


  • Kumutha Raman
  • Harwati Hashim
  • Hanita Hanim Ismail


English as a Second Language (ESL) learners; verbal communication skill; virtual reality; engagement; motivation; and autonomy


Technological innovations make enormous transformations in the education paradigm. Virtual Reality (VR) is a ubiquitous technology that provides ample opportunities for educators to expand English as a Second Language (ESL) learners’ language learning. This paper looks at ESL learners’ level of engagement, motivation, and autonomous learning in developing their English verbal communication skills through VR-integrated lessons. It also explores the relationship between learners’ engagement, motivation, and autonomous learning in VR-based lessons. 166 high school senior students were purposively chosen for this mixed-method study. Findings from the survey, which was analysed in SPSS, revealed that the participants perceived a high level of engagement (M=4.55), motivation (M=4.36), and autonomous learning (M=3.90). Meanwhile, the correlation analysis indicated that there is a strong relationship between learners’ engagement, motivation, and autonomous learning. The observation report stated that samples displayed a very positive attitude towards learning through VR to develop their communication skills. Additionally, the reports from the focus group discussions which were analysed thematically highlighted that VR provides real-life experience, VR improves memory retention, VR is engaging, and VR helps improve one’s communication skills. The findings implied that integrating VR into education is a promising tool for educators to enhance ESL learners' verbal communication skills and boost digital literacy while preparing learners for a technologically advanced world. In conclusion, this study validates that VR assists educators in developing ESL learners’ verbal communication skills. Nevertheless, a comprehensive analysis is needed to explore more how far learners could develop their English communication skills through VR-based lessons.



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