The effects of student authoring of multimedia materials based on authentic French texts from the Internet on student acquisition and retention of vocabulary
Ofelia Romanova Nikolova, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, United States
Southern Illinois University at Carbondale . Awarded
The problem of this study was: What are the effects of student authoring of a multimedia instructional module for teaching of French based on a French text downloaded directly from the Internet on (a) student acquisition of the vocabulary in this instructional module, (b) student retention of the vocabulary in this instructional module, (c) student time on task, and (d) student attitudes toward the instruction?
The design selected for this research was randomized control group pretest-posttest design. The study involved two treatments—one control and one experimental and two groups of subjects—one control and one experimental, with 31 participants each. The subjects were recruited from the students enrolled in all five sections of Fr. 123 B in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures at a midwestern university in the Spring semester of 1998.
The control subjects were asked to study a French text directly downloaded from the Internet consisting of eight short anecdotes presented on a computer screen via SmarTText software. Twenty relatively low frequency words in the text were identified as target words for the experiment. They were annotated with text, sound (all 20 words), and pictures (14 words) via SmarTText. The control subjects were allowed to spend as much time as needed studying the text.
The computer was used to present the experimental subjects with the same text but without annotations. Subjects were asked to create text, sound, and picture annotations for the same 20 target words. Sound files and picture files were previously input in the computer memory by the researcher. A French-English dictionary was also provided. The subjects were asked to create the annotations using the author mode of the SmarTText software. They were allowed to spend as much time as needed on creating the annotations and studying the text.
All subjects completed a demographic survey, took a vocabulary pretest including the 20 target words and the MLAT (Modern Language Aptitude) standardized test. All subjects took an immediate vocabulary posttest and a one-month delayed vocabulary posttest. They also completed an attitude questionnaire immediately after the treatment.
The results from the statistical analysis of the data gathered brought evidence that: (a) students acquire foreign language vocabulary significantly better if they author a multimedia instructional module, (b) students retain foreign language vocabulary significantly better if they author a multimedia instructional module, (c) students spend significantly more time on task if they author a multimedia instructional module, but (d) student attitudes toward the instruction do not differ significantly whether the students author a multimedia instructional module or whether they study such a module authored by a teacher.
Nikolova, O.R. The effects of student authoring of multimedia materials based on authentic French texts from the Internet on student acquisition and retention of vocabulary. Ph.D. thesis, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.
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