Brendan’s Voyage: An Immersive Environment for Medieval Language and Culture is an immersive environment designed to allow the user to see, hear, and speak the medieval French dialect of Anglo-Norman while moving through the story of Saint Brendan the Navigator. The project emphasizes the link between the spoken and written elements of medieval French in a virtual, interactive, immersive learning environment based on a foundational literary text. Informed by empirical research, modern language pedagogy offers immersive learning experiences through study abroad programs or exclusive target-language use in the classroom. These techniques are not readily available for the teaching of medieval languages. Our project addresses this problem through the creation of a virtual immersive environment that allows the user to learn medieval languages as if they were inhabiting an authentic context. Critically, medieval languages were almost exclusively oral, given the extremely low literacy rates, and many of the literary works were rhymed, making pronunciation and orality an important part of understanding medieval written texts.
We are currently teaming up with the University of Arkansas’ Tesseract Game Lab to get a prototype out for testing. Screenshots and a description of our modules are available here. For previous instances of the project, see Project Background and Credits.
When the project is released, we will also have Student Resources and Instructor Resources available here.