Virtual Reality for Teaching ESP Vocabulary: A Myth or A Possibility

Abeer Ahmed Madini, Dalal Alshaikhi


Studies on the effects of various strategies to improve vocabulary have documented the important role of input and output in terms of long-term retention of lexical items. Nowadays, the world is witnessing a growing interest in wearable devices. Considerable attention has been paid specifically to virtual reality (VR) headsets or smart Goggles and their abilities to engage their users. This paper examined whether virtual reality headsets help (N=20) Saudi female ESP postgraduates enrolled in the Didactic Terminologies in English Course to retain vocabulary related to their field. For six weeks, the students interacted with virtual objects through watching 360 degrees videos related to basic skills in counseling and some cases that require consultation and referral. For example, depression, addiction, suicide, autism, violence, domestic violence, bullying, and impulsive behavior. A pre and a post tests scores were compared by a paired sample t-test to examine the effect of the virtual reality videos on their vocabulary retention. The results showed a highly significant difference between the two tests with a (P< 0.001), and the mean scores between a pre and a post-tests pointed out that an alteration in favor to the post-test where students indicated the most improvement. The results demonstrated that virtual reality videos actually helped the postgraduate students to retain ESP vocabulary and therefore develop their competence level. Future work could investigate the perception of using virtual reality headsets to improve ESP vocabulary.

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Copyright (c) 2017 Abeer Ahmed Madini, Dalal Alshaikhi

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International Journal of English Language Education    E-mail:    Copyright © Macrothink Institute    ISSN 2325-0887

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