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Multimedia Glosses Essay

1824 words - 8 pages

Many researchers believe language development to be the most important part of learning a second language (Knight, 1994). Also, a majority of students studying a foreign language and their teachers mention vocabulary as their number one priority (Knight, 1994). Language educators believe that foreign language learners need to increase their vocabulary and develop strategies for coping with new words (Harley, 1996).
Usually, these strategies include the use of dictionaries and glosses inserted into some language textbooks. These two techniques are not very useful for students who usually have to stop their reading to find the meaning of new words. Also, the printed form of gloss is not ...view middle of the document...

(1999) reported that students who used a combination of text and picture gloss while reading performed better than students who used only textual gloss or pictorial gloss.
Researchers also studied the effect of gloss on reading. Chun and Plass (1995) discovered that understanding was increased when students had the chance to get their favored visual or verbal explanation. The results indicated that visual explanations helped with overall understanding.
There is no research, however, that links the effectiveness of different multimedia glosses on word memory and reading ability. If the relationship between audio, text, and the visual presentation of objects is believed to greatly improve memory (Dubois & Vial, 2000) then it becomes important to decide if combining the written word, pictures, and sound would help students retain words better. The purpose of this study is to relate the effect of different gloss types on word memory and reading ability among second language learners.
Research questions
1. What is the effect of textual gloss on a) word retention b) reading comprehension and c) reading time?
2. What is the effect of text and audio glosses on a) word retention b) reading comprehension and c) reading time?
3. What is the effect of audio and picture glosses on a) word retention b) reading comprehension and c) reading time?
4. What is the effect of audio, text and picture glosses on a) word retention b) reading comprehension and c) reading time?
5. What is the effect of audio, text, picture glosses and writing on a) word retention b) reading comprehension and c) reading time?
Literature Review
Glossing is important in second language reading because it is a way for learners to understand a text. Glosses help students on the parts of a text that are beyond their skill level (Widdowson, 1979). The process of reading and understanding in one’s natural language is a complicated process; this difficulty growths even more when reading in a foreign language. It is suggested that multimedia settings have the possibility to simplify second language reading understanding because of its ability to combine different kinds of methods such as audio, images, and video, in addition to the written word, in the presentation of material (Martinez-Lage 1997; Chun and Plass 1996).
In an outline of the benefits of glosses, Nation (1990) states that they offer a flow in sense, independence from dictionaries and accuracy in finding meaning. However, he adds that students should be urged to use glosses after they try to guess so that at least their guesses can be confirmed or denied.
Jacobs (1994) says that multimedia glossing is a successful method that aids second language vocabulary development. Students and researchers can find value in glossing provided through multimedia, such as a computer. Students are given access to glosses of new terminology. Also a list of the already read items is generated automatically. Researchers can study the...

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