The Use and Design of Supplementary Visuals for the Enhancement of Listening Skills in Hypermedia

The Use and Design of Supplementary Visuals for the Enhancement of Listening Skills in Hypermedia

Vehbi Turel (The University of Bingol, Turkey)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6248-3.ch016
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Abstract

This chapter investigates the attitudes and opinions (perceptions) of 43 language learners (LLs) towards the use of supplementary contextual visuals (SCVs) in a HME for enhancing listening skills as a part of Foreign Language Learning (FLL). Forty-three LLs' attitudes towards the use of SCVs are examined in 3 areas: (1) at the pre-listening stage in preparing for listening texts, (2) with talking-heads video at the while-listening stage, and (3) with audio-only at the post-listening stage. The study is both quantitative and qualitative in nature. The results are analysed with SPSS (i.e. descriptive statistics including frequency, percentage, valid percentages, and cumulative percentages; Spearman test in Bivariate; Chi-square Test in the Crosstabs analysis; Fisher's exact Test). The results reveal that the LLs are in favour of the use of SCVs (a) at the pre-listening stage for preparation, (b) with talking-heads video at the while-listening stage, and (c) with audio-only clips at the post-listening stage. The LLs believe that SCVs could benefit them in a variety of ways that could contribute to the enhancement of their listening. There are also some significant relationships between their perceptions and some independent variables.
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Background

Visuals in HMEs can consist of a wide range of elements such as digital still and/or motion pictures, drawings, images, signs, illustrations, photos, portraits, icons, cartoons, animations, graphics, figures, imaginary and schematic diagrams. The use of visuals for FLL and teaching is investigated (Acha, 2009, pp. 23-31; Chun & Plass, 1996, pp. 503-519; Herron, 1994, pp. 190-98). Not only are visuals used with conventional learning materials (i.e. traditional books and videotapes) and the accompanying learner’s books (i.e. in answer books and workbooks accompanying books, tape cassettes and videotapes), but they are also used in HMEs (e.g. Getting the Message; My First Incredible Amazing Dictionary; English by Numbers; World Talk English; Beginning Kurmanji Kurdish, Turel, 2011a; Advanced Turkish, Turel, 2010). HMEs enable materials developers to design and use visuals more effectively, as it can provide learners with total control, immediate access and interactivity (Herron et al., 2002a, p. 37; Tschirner, 2001, pp. 311, 307-10), which is an important consideration in the field of CALL (Al-Seghayer, 2001, 203).

In this study, pictures, images, drawings and animations accompanied with captions were used as SCVs. They were used when it was thought that SCVs were really necessary to (1) prepare LLs for listening texts, (2) help them comprehend the listening sequences, and (3) draw their attention to specific features of the input at the pre-listening, while-listening and post-listening stages.

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