Does multimedia support individual differences? – EFL learners’ listening comprehension and cognitive load

Hui-Yu Yang


The present study examines how display model, English proficiency and cognitive preference affect English as a Foreign Language (EFL) learners’ listening comprehension of authentic videos and cognitive load degree. EFL learners were randomly assigned to one of two groups. The control group received single coding and the experimental group received dual coding. The results show that the display model affects EFL learners’ cognitive load and listening comprehension of CNN news. There is no interaction among English proficiency, cognitive preference and experimental conditions on the listening comprehension scores and cognitive load scale. Learners with a low aptitude for visual learning had poorer performance and a higher cognitive load than those with a high aptitude for visual learning. All learners, regardless of cognitive styles and level of English, benefited from dual coding. The dual-code display model thus seems to be effective in reducing EFL learners’ cognitive load.

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