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Supporting Listening Comprehension and Vocabulary Acquisition with Multimedia Annotations: The Students' Voice

Issue: Vol 21 No. 1 (2004)

Journal: CALICO Journal

Subject Areas:

DOI: 10.1558/cj.v21i1.41-65


This study extends Mayer's (1997, 2001) generative theory of multimedia learning and investigates under what conditions multimedia annotations can support listening comprehension in a second language. This paper highlights students' views on the effectiveness of multimedia annotations (visual and verbal) in assisting them in their comprehension and acquisition of vocabulary from aural texts. English-speaking college students listened to a 2 min 20 sec historical account in French presented by a computer program. Participants were randomly assigned to one of four listening treatments: the aural text (a) with no annotations, (b) with only verbal annotations, (c) with only visual annotations, and (d) with both visual and verbal annotations. For purposes of this paper, 20 students were purposively selected to participate in interviews. Overall, students remembered word translations and recalled the passage best when they had selected both verbal and visual annotations while listening. Students' voices reflected these results and revealed that they should have options for viewing material in both a visual mode and a verbal mode in a multimedia listening comprehension environment. This study provides qualitative evidence for a generative theory of multimedia learning that suggests that the availability and the choice of visual and verbal annotations in listening comprehension activities enhances students' abilities to comprehend the material presented and to acquire vocabulary.

Author: Linda C. Jones

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