Original Research - Special Collection: Rethinking literacy and pedagogic agency in the 4IR

Pre-service teachers’ perceptions on eliciting learners’ knowledge in a mixed-reality simulation environment

Carisma Nel, Elma Marais
Reading & Writing | Vol 14, No 1 | a422 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/rw.v14i1.422 | © 2023 Carisma Nel, Elma Marais | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 31 January 2023 | Published: 31 August 2023

About the author(s)

Carisma Nel, School for Language Education, Faculty of Education, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa
Elma Marais, School for Language Education, Faculty of Education, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa


Background: Concerns have been raised about the inconsistency and quality of pre-service teacher preparation, especially in reading literacy. Mixed-reality simulations can potentially revolutionise initial teacher education by offering realistic, risk-free practice opportunities to master reading practices.

Objectives: This study explores pre-service teachers’ perceptions of: (1) interacting with avatars, (2) teaching core reading skills, particularly eliciting background information on informational text, and (3) using an action review cycle within a mixed-reality simulation environment.

Method: A qualitative exploratory case study design was used in this study in order to document pre-service teachers’ perceptions of engaging within a mixed-reality simulation environment. A purposive sampling strategy was used to select participants for this study. Data were analysed using thematic analysis.

Results: Findings reveal that pre-service teachers valued interacting with the avatars and appreciated the unique focus on eliciting learners’ background knowledge, a core reading practice. They typically teach full lessons with limited genuine engagement during microteaching opportunities, making this an interesting experience. They highlighted the mixed-reality simulation’s features, such as pausing, redoing, and receiving immediate feedback. The simulator allowed them to concentrate on skill mastery rather than staging lessons for grades.

Conclusion: This study concludes that pre-service teachers’ skill development benefits from deliberate practice opportunities designed to enhance complex skills. Mixed-reality simulations could reshape how student teachers are prepared for reading instruction.

Contributions: This research contributes to the understanding of pre-service teachers’ perspectives on teaching core reading practices in a mixed-reality simulation environment.


pre-service teachers; mixed-reality simulation; TeachLivETM; core reading practices; teaching practice.

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 4: Quality education


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