In times when sci-fi classics such as “1984”, “Brave New World” and “Fahrenheit 451” don’t seem as fictional works as they were or should be, we dare to think and think big. Online learning, which was once a delirium tremens or something for some people is now our daily bread. So, this is a foreseeable future: online language learning will happen through VR immersion. We will “travel” to different countries and engage in conversation with native speakers as avatars. You might think I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one… (Sorry, The Beatles always get the best out of me).
Companies like Second Life by Linden Lab, which was launched in 2003, are already offering an immersive experience. They were created for gamers, but they can be used for learning languages and experiencing other worlds. And this is from over 10 years ago.
Rumor has it, by 2030 we will be able to perceive smells through screens and also have tactical perceptions. If virtual reality can become a reality such as the ones presented in the series “Black Mirror”, full language and cultural immersion don’t seem as crazy or impossible anymore. In fact, multisensory VR masks are on their way to been launched. Can you imagine learning Thai and ordering pad Thai and engaging in conversation with the Thai waiter from the comfort of your home? Plus, “enjoying” the meal without the calories. This will be possible and much more.