Cognitive load in reading a foreign language text with multimedia aids and the influence of verbal and spatial abilities

Jan Plass, Dorothy M. Chun, Richard E. Mayer, Detlev Leutner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

When do multiple representations of information in second-language learning help and when do they hinder learning? English-speaking college students (N = 152), enrolled in a second-year German course, read a 762-word German story presented by a multimedia computer program. Students received no annotations, verbal annotations, visual annotations, or both for 35 key words in the story. Recall of word translations was worse for low-verbal and low-spatial ability students than for high-verbal and high-spatial ability students, respectively, when they received visual annotations for vocabulary words, but did not differ when they received verbal annotations. Text comprehension was worst for all learners when they received visual annotations. Results are consistent with a generative theory of multimedia learning and with cognitive load theory which assume that multimedia learning processes are executed under the constraints of limited working memory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)221-243
Number of pages23
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Volume19
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2003

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Multimedia
Reading
Language
Learning
Students
Vocabulary
Short-Term Memory
Computer program listings
Software
Data storage equipment
Spatial Navigation
Cognitive Load
Spatial Ability
Annotation
Verbal Ability

Keywords

  • Cognitive load
  • Individual differences
  • Multimedia learning
  • Second language acquisition
  • Spatial ability
  • Verbal ability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology

Cite this

Cognitive load in reading a foreign language text with multimedia aids and the influence of verbal and spatial abilities. / Plass, Jan; Chun, Dorothy M.; Mayer, Richard E.; Leutner, Detlev.

In: Computers in Human Behavior, Vol. 19, No. 2, 03.2003, p. 221-243.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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