Technological modernization has impacted various fields such as the field of education, teaching, and learning. The traditional classroom and teaching methodologies no longer meet the needs of the new tech-savvy generation. Thus, recently there have been changes in teacher preparation programs in order to prepare teacher candidates to have the skills to respond to such high technological demands. Additionally, the demographics of students attending schools in countries with exceptionally high numbers of immigrants such as the United States is another reason to seek novel ways to prepare teachers who have had adequate practice and developed teaching skills needed to reach the English learners (ELs) in their classrooms. Using Multi-User Virtual Environments (MUVEs) has been one solution in order to bridge this gap. EL TLE TeachLivE, which was the focus of this study, is a computer simulated environment that combines real-life participants and digital personas or avatars. The participants of this study were teacher candidates who experienced using EL TLE TeachLivE to practice the teaching strategies and skills they had been learning about during their teacher preparation program (n=20). This research investigated the perceptions of these teacher candidates about using this mixed-reality classroom environment through observations, questionnaires, focus groups, and individual interviews. A qualitative transcendental phenomenological approach was taken to have a more in-depth understanding of the participants' perceptions about the phenomenon of EL TLE TeachLivE as a mixed-reality classroom environment in teacher preparation and the meaning they made of their experiences. Through the data analysis three main categories emerged: TCs' general perceptions about the avatars and EL TLE TeachLivE as a mixed-reality classroom environment, TCs' perceptions of the current use of the EL TLE TeachLivE in their teacher preparation program, and TCs' perceptions about the future use of EL TLE TeachLivE. The Teacher Candidates' General Perceptions of EL TLE TeachLivE consisted of the following sub-themes: (a) Video game dissimilarities, (b) Avatar believability and real-life features, (c) Personification of the EL cases, (d) Fear of the unknown, (e) Avatar movement restrictions, and (f) Suspension of disbelief. The Teacher Candidates' Perceptions about the Current Use of EL TLE TeachLivE included: (a) Importance of prerequisites, (b) Advantages over role-playing, (c) Teaching in front of peers, (d) Group teaching and random selection, (e) Importance of feedback, and (f) Teaching strategies and aha moments. Finally, the Teacher Candidates' Perceptions about the Future Use of EL TLE TeachLivE incorporated: (a) Changes in the implementation, (b) Elementary vs secondary classrooms, and (c) Gradual practice.


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Graduation Date





Nutta, Joyce


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Education and Human Performance

Degree Program

Education; Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages









Release Date

August 2019

Length of Campus-only Access

3 years

Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)