• Foreign Language Acquisition
    主動式沉浸經驗 . 社會互動 . 擬真情境
  • 3D Virtual Reality
    真實性生活化 . 合作任務 . 創新教學設計
  • Learning in a FLOW state
    沉浸 . 互動性 . 想像力


Educational Technology Research & Development.

2017-06-21 16:52:17

ETR&D 2015

Special Issue Editors

  • Dr. Yu-Ju Lan, Special Issue Editor, Associate Professor, Department of Applied Chinese Language and Culture, National Taiwan Normal University, Taiwan
  • Dr. Nian-Shing Chen, Special Issue Co-Editor, Chair Professor, Department of Information Management, National Sun Yat-sen University, Taiwan
  • Dr. Ping Li, Special Issue Co-Editor, Professor of Psychology, Linguistics, and Information Sciences and Technology, Pennsylvania State University, USA
  • Mr. Scott Grant, Special Issue Co-Editor, Assistant Lecturer, Chinese Studies, School of Languages, Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics, Monash University, Australia

Important Dates

Submissions of initial papers duedate EXTENDED: 30 November 2014 December 31st, 2014
Decisions and reflection on the initial papers selected: 31 January 2015
Revised manuscripts due: 28 Feb 2015
Feedback on revised manuscripts: 30 April 2015
Final manuscripts due by the authors: 31 May 2015
Final manuscripts sent to the publishers: 30 June 2015
Special Issue Publication: November-December 2015

Submission Information

Please prepare your manuscripts following the ETR&D Instructions.

Submit your manuscripts via https://www.editorialmanager.com/etrd/.
Select “SI: Embodied Cognition and Language Learning in Virtual Environments” as the article type.

Topics of Interest

Topics of interests include, but are not limited to:
  • Virtual embodiment and language learning (in general)
  • Multimodal communication in virtual worlds
  • Virtual embodiment and language skill development
  • Virtual embodiment, language processing, and brain
  • Virtual motor in language comprehension
  • Embodiment and language in K-12 classroom
  • Embodiment and language in special education
  • New immersive interface technologies such as virtual reality headsets (e.g. Occulus Rift), haptic devices, digital scent technology, facial expression recognition (https://highfidelity.io/) etc., and their impact on embodied cognition.
Questions about relevance and potential topics should be directed to Dr. Lan at yujulan@gmail.com


Sociocultural theory of second language acquisition (SLA) asserts that the social context and interaction mediate language learning and thus play an important role in the SLA process (Ellis, 2008). According to sociocultural SLA, the person and the world are connected in an inseparable relationship (Lantolf, 2005). A context-dependent social interaction is most important to SLA because it provides L2 learners essential scaffolding for acquiring an L2 (Vogotsky, 1978). Swain (2000) suggested that language learning is something that happens both inside the head of the learner and in the world in which the learner experiences the learning. In short, external mediation serves as the means by which internal mediation (mental activity) is originated (Ellis, 2008).

The emphasis of the inseparability of external and internal mediation during context-dependent interaction in sociocultural SLA is in line with the argument of embodied cognition. Embodied cognition emphasizes the formative role of the environment (context) plays in the development of cognitive process (Cowart, 2005), focusing on the “interaction between perception, action, the body and the environment” (Barsalou, 2008), which is different from the traditional perspective where the body plays a small role in cognition. Studies in line with embodied cognition have observed different roles of actions in cognitive processes and have suggested that human mind is closely connected to sensorimotor experience. Based on the general theories of embodied cognition, such as those proposed by Glenberg and colleagues (Glenberg et al, 2004; Glenberg & Goldberg, 2011; Glenberg & Kaschak, 2002) and Barsalou (2008), it is argued that the cognitive process develops under the condition that a tightly coupled system emerges from interactions between organisms and their environment, with the interactions being real-time and goal-directed (Cowart, 2005).

Regarding embodied language processing that a person moving his/her body in a certain way will impact how he/she comprehends language, it is consistent with the content of the indexical hypothesis that an understanding of language results from a simulation of the actions that are implied by the meaning of the sentence (Glenberg & Kaschak, 2002). Increasing evidences obtained from the embodied cognition research support the arguments that action enhances comprehension (Asher, 1997; Glenberg & Goldberg, 2011; Glenberg et al., 2004; Tellier, 2008). In recent years, the findings obtained from brain research also echo that language processing is an embodied process (Aziz-Zadeh & Damasio, 2008; Willems & Casasanto, 2011 ); that bodily action in the contextual environment and perception are inseparable during the cognition process. As suggested by Rueschemeyer and colleagues (Rueschemeyer et al., 2010), intentional actions activating the brain resources used for the motor system are also engaged in the lexical-semantic processing and language comprehension. Additionally, the motor system is automatically activated when a person (a) observes manipulable objects; (b) processes action verbs; and (c) observes the actions of another individual (Mahon & Caramazza, 2008).

Virtual immersion environments, such as Second Life (SL, a multiuser virtual environment) or Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPGs), have drawn the attention of cross-disciplined researchers (Lan, 2014; Wang & Burton, 2012) because they make both avatar-self movement and different interactions between the learner and the virtual environments possible (Lan et al. 2013). Thus, such environments seem to be able to provide learners an embodied learning experience (Schubert, Friedmann, & Regenbrecht, 1999). In contrast to controlling an avatar via a mouse or a keyboard (like SL and MMORPGs), gesture-based technologies (like Play Station Move and MS Kinect) that mainly involve gestures, or body motion, have also been widely used to support the physical effects on learning (Chao et al., 2013; Chang et al., 2013; Hung et al., 2014). However, the abovementioned embodied motion and the interaction obtained in a virtual environment are accomplished via learners' avatars rather than directly via their own selves. Are the avatar-based embodied motions sufficient and strong enough to originate the essential internal mediation in learners' brains and consequently have an effect on language comprehension and acquisition? Obviously, more cross-disciplinary evidence is needed to answer the abovementioned questions and to add to the knowledge pool of embodied cognition and language learning in virtual worlds.

To this end, this special issue aims at providing a platform for researchers to present their study efforts that may offer insights into the relation between virtually embodied cognition and language acquisition. These are open questions worth of further explorations. The submitted papers will go through a double-blind review. We invite studies that provide research results and contributions that may help develop further understanding of embodied cognition and language learning and inspire future research directions.

Special Issue Guest Editors

Dr. Yu-Ju Lan, Special Issue Editor
Associate Professor, Department of Applied Chinese Language and Culture
National Taiwan Normal University, Taiwan
Email: yujulan@gmail.com
URL: http://tell.aclc.ntnu.edu.tw/index.php/en/

Dr. Nian-Shing Chen, Special Issue Co-Editor
Chair Professor, Department of Information Management
National Sun Yat-sen University, Taiwan
Co-Editor-in-Chief, Educational Technology & Society Journal (SSCI)
Chair, IEEE Technical Committee on Learning Technology
Email: nschen@mis.nsysu.edu.tw
URL: http://www.nschen.net

Dr. Ping Li, Special Issue Co-Editor
Professor of Psychology, Linguistics, and Information Sciences and Technology
Pennsylvania State University
Editor-in-Chief: Journal of Neurolinguistics
Email: pul8@psu.edu
URL: http://blclab.org

Mr. Scott Grant, Special Issue Co-Editor
Assistant Lecturer, Chinese Studies, School of Languages, Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics
Faculty of Arts
Monash University (Australia)
Email: scott.grant@monash.edu


  • Asher, J. T. (1977). Learning another language through actions: The complete teacher's guidebook. USA: Sky Oaks Productions.
  • Aziz-Zadeh, L., & Damasio, A. (2008). Embodied semantics for actions: Findings from functional brain imaging. Journal of Physiology, 102, 35-39.
  • Barsalou, L. W. (2008). Grounded cognition. The Annual Review of Psychology, 59, 617-645. Retrieved from http://www.cogsci.ucsd.edu/~ajyu/Teaching/Cogs202_sp12/Readings/barsalou08_grounded.pdf
  • Chang, C. Y., Chien, Y. T., Chiang, C. Y., Lin, M. C., & Lai, H. C. (2013). Embodying gesture-based multimedia to improve learning. British Journal of Educational Technology, 44(1), E5-E9.
  • Chao, K. J., Huang, H. W., Fang, W. C., & Chen, N. S. (2013). Embodied play to learn: Exploring Kinect-facilitated memory performance. British Journal of Educational Technology, 44(5), E151-E155.
  • Cowart, M. (2005, July 8). Embodied cognition. Retrieved April 23, 2014, from http://www.iep.utm.edu/embodcog/.
  • Ellis, R. (2008). The study of second language acquisition (2nd. ed.). New York, USA: Oxford University press.
  • Glenberg, A. M., & Goldberg, A. B. (2011). Improving early reading comprehension using embodied CAI. Instruction Science, 39, 27-39.
  • Glenberg, A. M., Gutierrez, T., Levin, J. R., Japuntich, S., & Kaschak, M. P. (2004). Activity and imagined activity can enhance young children's reading comprehension. Journal of Educational Psychology, 96(3), 424-436.
  • Glenberg, A. M., & Kaschak, M. P. (2002). Grounding language in action. Psychnomic Bulletin & Review, 9(3), 558-565.
  • Hung, I.-C., Lin, L.-I., Fang, W.-C., & Chen, N.-S. (2014). Learning with the body: An embodiment-based learning strategy enhances performance of comprehending fundamental optics. Interacting with Computers. doi: 10.1093/iwc/iwu011
  • Lan, Y. J. (2014). Does Second Life improve Mandarin learning by overseas Chinese students? Language Learning & Technology, 18(2), 36–56.
  • Lan, Y.-J., Kan, Y.-H., Hsiao, I. Y. T., Yang, S. J. H., & Chang, K.-E. (2013). Designing interaction tasks in Second Life for Chinese as a foreign language learners: A preliminary exploration. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 29(2), 184-202.
  • Lantolf, J. (2005). Sociocultural and second language learning research: an exegesis. In E. Hinkel (ed.): Handbook of Research on Second Language Teaching and Learning. Mahway, N. J.: Lawrence Erlbaum.
  • Mahon, B. Z., & Caramazza, A. (2008). A critical look at the embodied cognition hypothesis and a new proposal for grounding conceptual content. Journal of Physiology – Paris, 102, 59-70.
  • Rueschemeyer, S. A., Lindemann, O., van Rooij, D., van Dam, W., & Bekkering, H. (2010). Effects of intentional motor actions on embodied language processing. Experimental Psychology, 57(4), 260-266.
  • Schubert, T., Friedmann, F., & Regenbrecht, H. (1999). Embodied presence in virtual environments. In R. Paton & I. E. Neilson (Eds.), Visual Representations and Interpretations. Berlin: Springer-Verlag.
  • Swain, M. (2000). The output hypothesis and beyond: mediating acquisition through collaborative dialogue. In J. Lantolf (ed.): Sociocultural Theory and Second Language Learning. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Tellier, M. (2008). The effect of gestures on second language memorisation by young children. Gesture, 8(2), 219-235.
  • Vygotsky, L. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological process. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
  • Willems, R. M., & Casasanto, D. (2011). Flexibility in embodied language understanding. Frontiers in Psychology, 2, 116.

Call for Proposal for ETR&D Special Issue 2016

ETR&D calls for proposals annually for Special Issues in the first quarter of each year. Please contact Dr. Tristan Johnson (tri.johnson@neu.edu) or Dr. Michael Spector (mike.spector@unt.edu) for further information. Or consult the journal website clicking here.

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