Mehrasa Alizadeh

Osaka University

Mehrasa Alizadeh is an assistant professor at the Cybermedia Center, Osaka University. She conducts collaborative research on the use of multimodal learning analytics to support learners in face-to-face and remote learning settings. She is interested in immersive learning and virtual reality for language education.


VR for Tourism Education: From Mobile to WebVR

Previous research shows that VR and immersive learning can be beneficial to learners. However, with the outbreak of the pandemic and the shift to remote learning, there are many difficulties in implementing mobile VR in online classes. Given the perceived need for quality remote learning, desktop VR can be an alternative which can enhance interaction among teachers and students in spite of physical distance. This presentation is a follow-up to our previous presentation at PanSIG2020, where we talked about the use of free VR apps in combination with mobile devices and mini-glasses for tourism education. The same study has been replicated with another group of students this year using a Desktop VR and has evolved into a project called My Hometown Project. We conducted a survey to collect data of the students’ evaluation of the desktop VR tool in our learning context. We will compare and contrast the findings from the two years of the study and provide tips to educators interested in incorporating VR into online education.

Local and Global Perspectives: Plurilingualism and Multilingualism - Trends and Needs / Closing Ceremony

The panel discussion at PanSIG 2021 aims to address the conference theme in relation to foreign language education in Japan. We invited four experts who are teaching and researching in Japan to contribute and discuss this issue from their perspective of research, practice and experience. PanSIG 2021 Panel discussion invited guest speakers are: Fumiko Kurihara (Chuo University), Tomokazu Ishikawa (Tamagawa University), Paula Martinez-Sires (Nihon University), Alexandra Shaitan (JALT Bilingual SIG). Interlocutor/moderator: Mehrasa Alizadeh (Osaka University). In Japan the insular attitude to one culture one language is often stressed yet Japan has quite a diversity throughout its regions. Japan is an international oriented country, globally connected, with the Japanese passport most valuable to travelling to 193 countries (Japan Times April 16th, 2021). There had been efforts by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Science and Technology Japan (MEXT) to internationalize, globalize its educational system, yet there are still pitfalls regarding the level of foreign language proficiency mostly related to English (MEXT uses foreign languages but this is understood often as English (American English)). At the same time Japanese as a foreign language had been getting more attention, English only programs established to attract students from other countries, foreign scholars were invited teaching Japanese culture, history etc. The integration of a needed workforce from other countries (mostly from Asian countries, South-America) is acknowledged more and more as a demanding task, Japan becoming a tourist spot with more than 30 Million visitors in 2019. This is reflected in the research and topics of many studies and conferences. Namely, JACTFL (Japan Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, 日本外国語教育推進機構) is putting the plurilingual (複言語) and multilingual (多言語) language education in the center of its agenda, backed by the Japan Association of Language Policy (JALP). PanSIG 2021 is a conference organized by JALT Special Interest Groups (SIGs) and this theme was chosen to shed light on JALT as the Japan Association for Language Teaching having many SIGs with topics related to the plurilingual individuum and the multilingual environment (society, classroom), teaching language and languages: Other Language Educators SIG, Bilingual SIG, Global Issues in Language Education SIG, CEFR & LP SIG, Intercultural Communication in Language Education SIG, Learner Development SIG, Teacher Helping Teachers SIG, Japanese as a Second Language SIG, Teaching Young Learners SIG, Study Abroad SIG and more.

MAVR Immersive Showcase 2021

Members of the MAVR community showcase ongoing research and projects. Our community of immersive researchers, developers, and technologists share progress and call for collaboration on a host of innovative projects. Hosted in VR and broadcast online, this is a chance for the MAVR community to reach out to other fields of study and groups from other parts of the world. The session will begin with a panel of short presentations and then facilitate discussions for collaboration. Participants are encouraged to join in VR but can also participate in the live stream in 2D. for more information.