Grammar Animations and Cognition

Grammar Animations and Cognition

Jörg Roche (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Germany) and Julia Scheller (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Germany)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-895-6.ch012
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The present study is situated in the context of cognitive aspects of language processing as it focuses on the learning and teaching of grammar in various modes of presentation. The success of the programs developed for, and used in, the study is measured in terms of short- and long-term learner performances in the application of grammatical rules. Four groups of informants were formed to test four different combinations of the presented materials. The groups used either a cognitive/functional or traditional rule-governed approach to grammar explanation in either an animation or static presentation mode. The results document the overall superiority of the cognitive/functional approach to grammar when presented in the animation mode. The design of the study and its results could serve as a reference point for further research and could help refine parameters for the evaluation of effective language learning software.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Software Evaluation: The evaluation of software usually is done by applying non-systematic checklists to a particular program. More recently, theory-based approaches to software assessment have been proposed which incorporate relevant criteria derived from linguistic, pedagogical and psychological models of language learning and teaching.

Prepositions: Prepositions are used in many languages to connect content words such as verbs, adjectives, names, nouns and pronouns to other content words. In languages such as English, French and German they often require an article (the, a, an in English) to connect to a noun. In German, that article generally marks the semantic function of the connected noun or a purely grammatical link using a particular case marking. The markings are frequent and often carry meaning. Two-way prepositions require a certain case marking based on whether or not they mark a change of location or a crossing of a boundary. Because prepositions are plentiful and require grammatical markings, they pose a particular problem to learners.

Grammar Animation: Grammar animations are used to visualize grammatical rules which are otherwise difficult to explain. Grammatical rules which express a movement or process are best suited for animations. Abstract verbal descriptions or static visual information often do not capture the essence of such rules.

Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning: The central element of the cognitive theory of multimedia learning is the dual coding theory which claims that the processing of verbal and visual information occurs in two functionally separate representational subsystems in the semantic memory. As a result, two separate mental projections are produced during the simultaneous processing of verbal and visual information modes. Processing information in different modes and coordinating the processes relies on the availability of sufficient cognitive capacity as processing resources are not unlimited at any given time. An exceeding demand on available capacity can produce an overload effect making it more difficult or impossible for a learner to process the information or reintegrate it into a coordinated entity. The success of the learner not only relies on the availability of sufficient resources but also on the manageability of the resources. Cognitive overload can be caused by processing tasks which are irrelevant for learning. In these cases, the manageability of processing can be secured or restored by reducing the extraneous load. This component of the cognitive theory of multimedia learning is known as the “cognitive load theory”.

Conceptual and Functional Presentation of Grammar: Other than formal and rule-governed explanations of grammar, conceptual and functional approaches focus on understanding and explaining the underlying concepts as well as the semantic and pragmatic functions of grammatical structures. They are often process-oriented approaches to language rather than merely structural ones.

Contiguity Effect: In language learning a contiguity effect can occur when verbal information is accompanied by related and well coordinated visual information. In such instances it can provide support for the learner’s mental processing of the content. If the processing is not coordinated interferences are likely to occur making it more difficult for learners to process and retain the information.

Case Markings: Languages such as Russian, French or German use an inventory of grammatical cases to mark certain grammatical functions in a sentence, such as the subject (“doer of an action”/nominative, object/accusative or “receiver of an action”/dative). In English, only the genitive case (Mary’s friend) explicitly is marked. The markings are generally expressed by endings of the nouns and/or, as in German, by particular forms of the articles.

Complete Chapter List

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List of Reviewers
Table of Contents
Andrew Lian
Felicia Zhang, Beth Barber
Chapter 1
Gabriella Brussino, Cathy Gunn
A theoretically driven and technology enhanced approach to second language acquisition at beginners level is illustrated through the description of... Sample PDF
Australasian Language Learners and Italian Web Sites: A Profitable Learning Partnership?
Chapter 2
Michael Fitze
This chapter reports on a comparative study of face-to-face (FTF) and written electronic (WE) conferences as pre-writing activities in the English... Sample PDF
Assessing the Benefit of Prewriting Conferences on Drafts
Chapter 3
Joel Bloch, Cathryn Crosby
This chapter discusses the use of blogging in a beginning level academic writing course. Blogging was used in this writing course both as a means of... Sample PDF
Blogging and Academic Writing Development
Chapter 4
Robert Ariew, Gulcan Erçetin, Susan Cooledge
This chapter introduces second language reading in hypertext/hypermedia environments. It discusses the development of a template to annotate reading... Sample PDF
Second Language Reading in Hypertext Environments
Chapter 5
Leo Kam-hung Yu
The consciousness-raising approach to grammar teaching aims to provide opportunities for students to identify some grammatical components through... Sample PDF
Application of Online Questionnaires in Grammar Teaching
Chapter 6
Diane Huot, France H. Lemonnier, Josiane Hamers
This chapter presents the key findings of a longitudinal study conducted with secondary school students over a period of five years to determine... Sample PDF
ICT and Language Learning at Secondary School
Chapter 7
David Barr
This chapter reports on the results of a study undertaken to gauge what difference computer technology makes to grammar learning. Unlike other... Sample PDF
Computer-Enhanced Grammar Teaching
Chapter 8
Luba V. Iskold
This study examines the effects of listening tasks performed by second-semester learners of Russian. Two video viewing conditions are investigated... Sample PDF
Research-Based Listening Tasks for Video Comprehension
Chapter 9
Linda Jones
This study addresses the views of 9 students on the amount of invested mental effort (Salomon, 1983a) needed to effectively process multimedia... Sample PDF
Invested Mental Effort in an Aural Multimedia Environment
Chapter 10
Kenneth Reeder, Jon Shapiro, Margaret Early, Maureen Kendrick, Jane Wakefield
This chapter describes the first year of research on the effectiveness of automated speech recognition (ASR) for ESL learners in the early school... Sample PDF
A Computer-Based Reading Tutor for Young Language Learners
Chapter 11
Eva Lindgren, Marie Stevenson, Kirk P.H. Sullivan
In this chapter an instructional format, Peer-Based Intervention (PBI) using computer keystroke logging is investigated as a computer technology to... Sample PDF
Supporting the Reflective Language Learner with Computer Keystroke Logging
Chapter 12
Jörg Roche, Julia Scheller
The present study is situated in the context of cognitive aspects of language processing as it focuses on the learning and teaching of grammar in... Sample PDF
Grammar Animations and Cognition
Chapter 13
Hazel Morton, Nancie Davidson, Mervyn Jack
This chapter describes the design of a speech interactive CALL program and its evaluation with end users. The program, SPELL (Spoken Electronic... Sample PDF
Evaluation of a Speech Interactive CALL System
Chapter 14
Maliwan Buranapatana, Felicia Zhang
This chapter reports on a study which evaluates the effect of a language teaching approach called the Somatically-Enhanced Approach (Zhang, 2006)in... Sample PDF
Pedagogy Meets Technology in the Somatically-Enhanced Approach
Chapter 15
Xinchun Wang
This study explores the effect of two training paradigms for learning Mandarin tones in pedagogical contexts. Eighteen beginning learners of Chinese... Sample PDF
Training for Learning Mandarin Tones
Chapter 16
Nattaya Puakpong
This chapter examines the effect of an individualized Computer-Enhanced Language Learning Listening Comprehension Program (MMExplore) on students’... Sample PDF
An Evaluation of a Listening Comprehension Program
Chapter 17
Terence C. Ahern
Authentic experiences encourage the student to cognitively engage the content by actively trying to make sense and to integrate the experience. This... Sample PDF
CMC for Language Acquisition
Chapter 18
Shannon Johnston
A task-based approach to e-mail provides a sound pedagogical orientation for real language interactions between learners and native speakers. The... Sample PDF
A Task-Based Design for Integrating E-Mail with FL Pedagogy
Chapter 19
Margarita Vinagre, Maria Lera
In this chapter we analyze the role that error correction plays in fostering language development via e-mail tandem exchanges. In order to do so, we... Sample PDF
The Role of Error Correction in Online Exchanges
Chapter 20
Stella K. Hadjistassou
This study reports on a culturally-transforming group activity using asynchronously-mediated forums on the “discussion board” of Blackboard Academic... Sample PDF
Emerging Feedback in Two Asynchronous ESL Writing Forums
Chapter 21
Martina Möllering, Markus Ritter
One key theme in the area of computer-assisted language learning has been the potential of computermediated communication (CMC) for the language... Sample PDF
CMC and Intercultural Learning
Chapter 22
Claudia Finkbeiner, Markus Knierim
Research on CALL environments that explicitly focuses on the development of strategic competence is almost non-existent. This chapter reports on an... Sample PDF
Developing L2 Strategic Competence Online
Chapter 23
Faridah Pawan, Senom T. Yalcin, Xiaojing Kou
This research is an exploratory study of student variables that mediate collaborative engagement in online discussions. More directly, the research... Sample PDF
Interventions and Student Factors in Collaboration
Chapter 24
Rolf Kreyer
Although corpus linguistic methods and research have had a considerable impact on language teaching in the last few decades, the corpus is still... Sample PDF
Corpora in the Classroom and Beyond
Chapter 25
Angela Chambers, Martin Wynne
Since the early 1990s, researchers have been investigating the effectiveness of corpora as a resource in language learning, mostly creating their... Sample PDF
Sharing Corpus Resources in Language Learning
Chapter 26
Terence Patrick Murphy
This chapter addresses the question of how to measure the student’s English as a second language (ESL) textual sophistication. It suggests that the... Sample PDF
The Texture of Inefficiently Self-Regulating ESL Systems
Chapter 27
Hayo Reinders, Noemí Lázaro
This chapter discusses the results of a study into the use of technology in the specific pedagogical setting of self-access centers. As part of the... Sample PDF
Technology in Support of Self-Access Pedagogy
Chapter 28
Stephen Alan Shucart, Tsutomu Mishina, Mamoru Takahashi, Tetsuya Enokizono
Unlike most CALL labs that are purchased from a vender and employ either generic or commercial CALL software and technologically untrained teachers... Sample PDF
The CALL Lab as a Facilitator for Autonomous Learning
Chapter 29
Junichi Azuma
This chapter describes how the synthesized English speech sound generated by a commercial TTS engine (Pentax “VoiceText”) is utilized within a CALL... Sample PDF
Applying TTS Technology to Foreign Language Teaching
Chapter 30
Yuko Kinoshita
This chapter presents a descriptive report on a video chat project undertaken in early 2006 at the University of Canberra, Australia using iChat.... Sample PDF
Using an Audio-Video Chat Program in Language Learning
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