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Exploring factors affecting communication in three-dimensional virtual worlds for second language learning: development and validation of a scale

Kanokpan Wiboolyasarin (Chandrakasem Rajabhat University, Bangkok, Thailand)
Watcharapol Wiboolyasarin (Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia, Mahidol University, Nakhon Pathom, Thailand)
Ruedee Kamonsawad (Bansomdejchaopraya Rajabhat University, Bangkok, Thailand)
Phornrat Tiranant (The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, Hong Kong)
Poomipat Boonyakitanont (Looloo Technology Co., Ltd., Bangkok, Thailand)
Nattawut Jinowat (Suan Sunandha Rajabhat University, Bangkok, Thailand)

International Journal of Information and Learning Technology

ISSN: 2056-4880

Article publication date: 24 January 2024

Issue publication date: 30 January 2024

71

Abstract

Purpose

The use of three-dimensional virtual worlds (3DVWs) is increasingly becoming a common practice in language education to provide digital learning environments for second-language (L2) communicative classes. This study aimed to identify the key factors underlying communication in 3DVWs that can improve the communication skills of L2 learners.

Design/methodology/approach

To achieve this, exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) were conducted to validate the identified factors affecting communication in 3DVWs. A self-reported questionnaire with 47 items on a five-point Likert scale was administered to 513 pre-service teachers, teachers and lecturers in the field of language education.

Findings

The results of the EFA revealed four factors that contribute to communication in 3DVWs, namely learner motivation, interaction pattern, language development and learner autonomy. CFA results provided support for the updated model, with statistically significant Chi-square results (χ² (df = 83) = 181.049, p < 0.001) indicating a good fit between the model and the data.

Originality/value

The findings suggest that the four EFA-derived parameters are valid and can assist instructional designers and L2 instructors in creating 3DVWs that enhance L2 learners' communication abilities. This study provides valuable insights for educators, instructional designers and researchers in the field of language education and technology-enhanced learning.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The project is funded by National Research Council of Thailand (NRCT) and Mahidol University (Grant Number: N42A650353).

Citation

Wiboolyasarin, K., Wiboolyasarin, W., Kamonsawad, R., Tiranant, P., Boonyakitanont, P. and Jinowat, N. (2024), "Exploring factors affecting communication in three-dimensional virtual worlds for second language learning: development and validation of a scale", International Journal of Information and Learning Technology, Vol. 41 No. 1, pp. 86-98. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJILT-02-2023-0021

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2024, Emerald Publishing Limited

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