This study investigated the effects of simultaneous written text on the comprehension of spoken English as a foreign language, when the text is presented with the aid of a personal digital assistant (PDA) as a learning tool. Eighty-seven university students majoring in applied foreign languages were randomly assigned to either listening with auditory materials only, or listening with identical and concurrent written text. Performance efficiency was used to provide a better indicator of the quality of learning. The results revealed that for learners with lower English levels, the presence of concurrent written text elicited higher performance efficiency in the immediate recall task of the English listening comprehension. However, the beneficial effect of the written text did not extend to the subsequent auditory-only passage. The study suggested that when using mobile devices as training tools, the provision of written text facilitates the acquisition of information but not the schema construction of the English listening comprehension skill.
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