In language education, the development of writing capability is an important and challenging teaching objective. Writing performance is related not only with students’ comprehension and expression of texts, but also their experience and perceptions of the contexts. Descriptive article writing is a basic writing activity; the content includes concrete understanding and perceptions of space, time, and contexts. However, in the traditional language teaching activities, there is usually no chance for students to have in-depth feelings about the contexts of a topic. This usually results in low learning motivation and limited expression during the writing process. Therefore, the present study attempted to adopt spherical video-based virtual reality (SVVR) to enable students to have in-depth experience and perceptions and to facilitate their learning effectiveness. Based on this approach, a Chinese writing SVVR learning system was developed and a quasi-experiment was conducted to compare the effects of the proposed approach and the conventional technology-supported learning approach in a senior high school writing class. The findings show that the proposed SVVR writing approach could improve students' writing performance in terms of content and appearance as well as their creativity tendency and writing self-efficacy, while also reducing their cognitive load.
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