Concepts, affordances, and theoretical frameworks of mixed reality enhanced language learning

Ruofei ZHANG, Di ZOU, Kwok Shing CHENG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The application and investigation of various virtual world experiences in language learning have been on the rise. However, mixed reality (MR) has received limited attention due to its ambiguous concepts, unclear affordances, and insufficient incorporation of theoretical frameworks.To promote the investigation and implementation of MR-enhanced language learning, we aimed to explore its concepts, affordances, and theoretical frameworks by reviewing four related research topics: (a) MR and its relationship with other types of virtual world experiences, (b) technology-enhanced language learning, (c) MR-enhanced learning in general, and (d) other types of virtual world experiences for language education. The findings show that MR-enhanced language learning can be defined as an approach to developing language knowledge and skills based on real-time, bi-directional interactions with representations of language learning materials seamlessly merged into the physical environment. MR can present rich input, provide opportunities for practices, support communication and collaboration, enhance student-centredness, and increase enjoyment. MR-enhanced language learning can be implemented based on seven theories: game-based learning theory, autonomous learning theory, cognitive theories of multimedia learning, sociocultural theory, collaborative learning theory, constructivist theory, and embodied learning theory. The benefits of incorporating mixed reality (MR) into language learning include contextualized learning, enhanced autonomy, improved communication and collaboration, and reduced risk for learners. Copyright © 2023 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInteractive Learning Environments
Early online dateApr 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Apr 2023


Zhang, R., Zou, D., & Cheng, G. (2023). Concepts, affordances, and theoretical frameworks of mixed reality enhanced language learning. Interactive Learning Environments. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/10494820.2023.2187421


  • Augmented reality
  • Mixed reality
  • Technology-enhanced language learning
  • Virtual reality
  • Virtual world


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