Effects of Text, Audio, and Graphic Aids in Multimedia Instruction for Vocabulary Learning

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This study conducted at a middle school in Seoul, South Korea tested the value of adding multimedia components to a web-based program teaching English vocabulary to English as a Foreign Language learners. The study used pretests, posttests, a retention test, and an attitude inventory to reach the conclusion that students learning the English vocabulary benefited from the addition of graphics that illustrated the meaning of the words. This research was done to study the effectiveness of six different methods of instruction. Multimedia components of visual text, added graphics and added spoken text were used with a web-based self-instruction program. Students were divided into six groups for the study with each group having different multimedia components added to the English vocabulary program. The article gives a complete table of statistical results as well as graphs of the results comparing pretest, posttest and retention test results of all six groups of participants. Probability scores were also explained and graphed. The conclusion of the experiment showed that when visual text was teamed with graphics of the vocabulary word the learners were able to achieve more success and were more motivated to learn. The illustration of the word in graphic form helped the students visualize the word’s definition in a more meaningful way.
This type of research on the use of multimedia components is always helpful to multimedia designers of educational material, especially those designing vocabulary programs. It supports the use of graphics in vocabulary learning instruction but points out that the use of too much visual text or spoken text can detract English as a Foreign Language Learners who are used to memorizing words without knowing the correct pronunciation. It looked at the effect of the different multimedia components when used in different configurations. This study is important for the support of using multimedia components in the classroom because it shows the benefit of using graphics in conjunction with text. As a visual learner, I found that it was no surprise that the test group that used the software program which had added graphics, visual text, and added spoken text had the highest retention scores. I did find some flaws in the research as it did not make clear how much prior knowledge or experience the students had with vocabulary software programs or computers in general. The two test groups that did not have spoken text added to their vocabulary program were larger than the other four groups because not all of the computers used in the study had sound which could have

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