Document Type



This item is available under a Creative Commons License for non-commercial use only


Computer Sciences, Information Science

Publication Details

A dissertation submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of Technological University Dublin for the degree of M.Sc. in Computing (Advanced Software Development).September 2012.


Spatial sound is the manipulation of audio to add the illusion of position to the source of the sound, i.e. making sounds seem to originate from behind you or from different points around a room. Headphones must be used to achieve the optimum level of 3D sound. At any time over half a billion people are learning languages with the aide of audio which is why and the study of the effect or potential effects that the spatial sounds have on language learning is particularly interesting. If the application of spatial sounds to educational audio clips could be shown to have a positive effect by, for example, improving the knowledge retention of the listener it could provide an interesting insight into future language learning course development. Equally, if the effect had a negative effect on the listener’s learning capacity it could also provide guidelines for the creation of high quality educational audio content. For the purposes of this dissertation Hear3D an application that enables 3D audio to be combined with language learning content was developed. A group of participants (users of Hear3D) applied individually chosen 3D positions to French language learning content in the form of a pre-developed language-learning module. The script was read by a French language teaching professional and, upon completion of the module (8-12 minutes approximately), the students’ comprehension and knowledge retention was assessed through the use of a questionnaire. A second control group (non-users of Hear3D) also, completed the same module and were tested in the same manner. The results for the two groups were then compared in order to measure any impact of Hear3D on the users comprehension and knowledge retention. The results of this experiment showed that there was a positive effect on the Hear3D users knowledge retention and that this area merit further research.