Aichi Prefectural University (Japan)
As presentation skills become an increasingly important communication tool on the global stage, the prevalence of public speaking phobia has important implications for the classroom and future workplace success of students. Speaking publicly in a foreign language can create additional sources of anxiety, causing some students’ fear to reach debilitating levels. More effective methods for combating this problem must be developed, and virtual reality-based exposure to public speech acts may hold advantages over the use of traditional instructional methods alone, allowing students to rehearse speeches in low-anxiety environments in front of simulated audiences. This presentation will explore a study conducted with university students in Japan in which presentation skills and mindfulness training, along with VR-based presentation practice, were combined to attempt a reduction in public speaking anxiety. Data from these participants will be compared against a control group who used more traditional, imagination-based home practice methods.
Josh Brunotte is an associate professor at Aichi Prefectural University in Nagakute, Japan, where he has been working within the Liberal Education Center since 2017. He researches the intersection of psychology and computer-assisted language teaching, with a focus on how virtual reality and other emerging technologies can help with anxiety reduction related to studying abroad and public speaking. He has also been involved with research into the sleep behaviors of Japanese university students and the implications for language learning.