Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (MEd)

Degree Level



Curriculum and Instruction


Freddie Bowles

Committee Member

Christian Goering

Second Committee Member

Janet Penner-Williams


Digital Spaces, English as a Foreign Language, Immersive Virtual Environments


The creation of web-based real-time computer simulations has given language educators incredible new opportunities to create immersive experiences for English as a Foreign Language (EFL) learners. This thesis reviewed 12 empirical studies, 3 previous literature reviews, 3 non-empirical journal articles, and 23 additional background sources investigating the impact of Immersive Virtual Environments (IVE) on EFL learners’ motivation and oral communication in EFL learning. 12 empirical studies were analyzed closely while other sources were used to provide additional information and theoretical insights. The findings indicate that IVEs offer novel ways to connect EFL learners to native-speaking communities where they can acquire new language through exposure to native speakers, increase motivation to participate and reduce anxieties of failure or judgement. IVEs offer persistent environments which are free of time and space constraints typical of traditional classrooms, allowing learners to interact with peers and native speakers in school and at home. The role of the instructor is crucial in designing these environments and preparing the students to engage in them, though increased instructional load on the instructor merits further investigation. Further research is needed into the development of these technologies that are both cheap and equitable so that all EFL learners may benefit from them.