Invested Mental Effort in an Aural Multimedia Environment

Invested Mental Effort in an Aural Multimedia Environment

Linda Jones (University of Arkansas, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-895-6.ch009
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This study addresses the views of 9 students on the amount of invested mental effort (Salomon, 1983a) needed to effectively process multimedia annotations (pictorial and written) so as to learn from a second language (L2) aural passage. Initially, 67 college students in a second-semester French course listened to a multimedia based French passage. Participants were randomly assigned to one of four listening treatments that contained either no annotations, written annotations, pictorial annotations, or both annotation types. Follow up vocabulary production and recall protocol tests measured vocabulary learning and aural comprehension. From these 67 students, 9 were selected to participate in interviews based on treatment type and posttest results. After examining anecdotal information and test results of these 9 students, it appears that the amount of invested mental effort applied to processing different annotation types varied in its influence on their abilities to learn French vocabulary and on their aural comprehension.

Key Terms in this Chapter

AIME: Amount of invested mental effort. This theory examines “the number of nonautomatic elaborations applied to a unit of material” (Salomon, 1983a, p. 42). Such elaborations are influenced by how students view a particular source of information.

Annotations: Visual and verbal supplementary items, such as a word translation or a visual representation of a particular word, that are intended to provide additional meaning to the listening passage. These are accessed through the selection of keywords presented on the computer screen.

Comprehension: The ability to understand the primary propositions of a listening comprehension passage. However, this is not meant to entail the understanding of every word of the passage.

Choice: Students’ ability to make decisions about how they view the material presented. In other words, if they prefer to view the material with visual and verbal annotated support, or prefer to review any segment of the passage, such options are available.

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