This chapter introduces second language reading in hypertext/hypermedia environments. It discusses the development of a template to annotate reading texts with multiple types of media such as text, sound, graphics, and video so as to aid reading comprehension for L2 readers. The chapter also reports on a series of studies conducted using the template in a variety of L2 learning environments in order to explore L2 learners’ reading behavior and the effects of multimedia annotations on L2 reading and vocabulary learning. The chapter synthesizes the results according to multimedia learning theories and discusses the role of proficiency level and prior knowledge in relation to L2 learners’ reading comprehension in hypertext environments.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Multimedia: Using several media (text, audio, video, graphics) to convey information. Multimedia is used in this case to annotate foreign or second language texts for the purpose of making them more understandable.
Textual Annotation: An annotation of a word appearing in the text.
Hypertext: A user interface that is used to display documents that include cross references and links to other documents (hyperlink).
Extra-Textual Annotation: An annotation of a concept included in the text but not actually appearing in it such as background information.
Annotation (Gloss): Information provided for the reader to help in comprehension of the material.
Template: A ready-made programming structure that is used in this case to create a multimedia annotated text.
Hypermedia: An extension of the term hypertext that includes the use of graphics, audio and video in addition to textual information.