Augmented Reality (AR) is an evolving technology that has caught the attention of educational material designers. This research paper investigates the use of AR in language training. It examines the existing literature on this topic for development trends, benefits, challenges, and success patterns from which design principles can be derived. In doing so, the paper covers 32 studies published between 2016 and 2021. The results show that AR is used especially for vocabulary acquisition. Furthermore, there are clear trends in the use of the technology toward marker-based and mobile devices. The design principles found indicate that the potential of AR lies primarily in contextual learning and that the technology alone is not sufficient for all areas of language learning but should be used in combination with traditional teaching methods.

Table of Contents


Schorr, Isabel
Supervisor:Prof. Gudrun Klinker
Advisor:Plecher, David (@ne23mux)
Submission Date:2022/03/15


Search Strategy and Manuscript Selection

Procedure inspired by the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) flow diagram:

Data Collection and Analysis

Information extracted from the examined scientific papers:

Category 1: Publication InformationCategory 2: Project InformationCategory 3: Findings
  1. Title
  2. Author
  3. Year of publication
  4. Country of origin
  1. Language
  2. Target group
  3. Content area
  4. Devices used
  5. Type of marker
  6. Type of experience
  7. Observed variables
  1. Results of the study
  2. Implications
  3. Future Research

Recommended papers:

Ibrahim, A., Huynh, B., Downey, J.C., Höllerer, T., Chun, D.M., & O'Donovan, J. (2018). ARbis Pictus: A Study of Vocabulary Learning with Augmented Reality. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 24(11), 2867-2874.

Safar, A. H., Al-Jafar, A. A., & Al-Yousefi, Z. H. (2017). The Effectiveness of Using Augmented Reality Apps in Teaching the English Alphabet to Kindergarten Children: A Case Study in the State of Kuwait. Eurasia Journal of Mathematics, Science and Technology Education, 13(2), 417-440. 

Santos, M.E., Lübke, A.I., Taketomi, T., Yamamoto, G., Rodrigo, M.M., Sandor, C., & Kato, H. (2016). Augmented reality as multimedia: the case for situated vocabulary learning. Research and Practice in Technology Enhanced Learning, 11, Article No.4. 

Taskiran, A. (2019). The effect of augmented reality games on English as foreign language motivation. E-Learning and Digital Media, 16(2), 122–135.

Wei, X., Yang, G., Zhang, K., & Li, Z. (2020). Research on Mobile AR Language Learning Environment Based on Virtual Avatar. 2020 Ninth International Conference of Educational Innovation through Technology (EITT), 229-234.





Potential Benefits and Obstacles of Using AR for Language Learning

Potential BenefitsObstacles

Enhanced motivation

Enhanced enjoyment and reduced anxiety

Enhanced immersion

Student-centered learning

Fostering engagement

Enhanced learning performance

Enhanced understanding and retention

Visualizing difficult to access concepts

Affordable technology

Teacher acceptance

Difficult to use due to novelty

Limitations in terms of useful applications

Technical issues

Design Principles for AR Language Learning

  1. Avoid cognitive overload
  2. Provide multi-channel sensory experiences
  3. Use multimedia effectively
  4. Provide relevant context
  5. Foster communication among students
  6. Provide training and tutorials
  7. Consult teachers and experts
  8. Provide real-time feedback
  9. Track the learner’s progress
  10. Facilitate teacher-student interactions
  11. Prevent technical issues
  12. Avoid noise
  13. Provide a clear structure of the learning material
  14. Combine traditional and non-traditional teaching approaches


The scope of principles includes recommendations for UI and content design of applications, suggestions for enhancing the learning experience, and ideas for making the educational AR system attractive to teachers if they implement the technology in schools. Hence, learners benefit from easy-to-understand application design and content that considers their mental capacities. In addition, language learning applications should implement user-centered learning experiences encouraging active learning, for example, by providing them with opportunities to speak and use the language. A sophisticated learning environment can improve language learning performance. Applying suggested design principles can help teachers to feel comfortable and confident using AR technology in classrooms. However, not all design principles are necessary or useful for all learning situations. They are intended to be guidelines for designers and users of AR applications for language learning, who are interested in implementation recommendations. 

Final Presentation Slides