Virtual characters created at USF to teach emergent bilingual students English

A new research-based app developed at USF will soon be accessible to K-12 students and teachers in an effort to bolster a more multilingual society. Sara Smith, assistant professor of ESOL and foreign language in the College of Education, created the patent-pending Multimedia Augmented Reality Vocabulary Learning (MARVL) app. The app is paired with special vocabulary cards by using the camera lens of a smartphone or tablet, which then activate two virtual characters who teach English to Spanish-speaking students. Ivan is a bilingual 13-year-old boy who acts as the app’s…

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