Effects of Multimedia Vocabulary Annotations on Vocabulary Learning and Text Comprehension in ESP Classrooms

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For the past few decades, instructional materials enriched with multimedia elements have enjoyed increasing popularity. Multimedia-based instruction incorporating stimulating visuals, authentic audios, and interactive animated graphs of different kinds all provide additional and valuable opportunities for students to learn beyond what conventional instruction relying mainly on print material can afford and achieve. Cognitive load theory, Sweller, Van Merrienboer, & Paas (1998) and Mayer's (2001) theory of multimedia learning, have suggested that replacing visual text with spoken text (i.e., modality effect) result in better learning outcomes and that less mental efforts would be required to learn the multimedia lessons. The aim of this study was to test the generalizability of the modality effect in animation-based multimedia instruction developed for learning English-for-specific purposes (ESP) in an EFL classroom. Specifically, the study investigated the effect of spoken (audio) annotation and text annotation embedded in a concurrent on-screen text accompanying computer-generated animations that depicts the process of blood flow in a human heart. The study also looked into the impact of language of the annotation (i.e., students' L1 vs. L2) and interactive effect of language proficiency and prior knowledge and above independent variables on the learning outcomes and cognitive load. Results indicated no significant differences between L1 and L2 glosses for all tests. Additionally, no significant differences were also found between audio and text annotations in all tests. However, L2 annotation significantly added more difficulties to the comprehension of the annotations than L1.

Keywords: multimedia annotation, ESP.


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Lin, Huifen. (2012). Effects of Multimedia Vocabulary Annotations on Vocabulary Learning and Text Comprehension in ESP Classrooms. In Linda Bradley, Sylvie Thouësny (Eds), CALL: Using, Learning, Knowing, EUROCALL Conference, Gothenburg, Sweden, 22-25 August 2012, Proceedings (pp. 172-176). Research-publishing.net. https://doi.org/10.14705/rpnet.2012.000047

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