EFL learners' cognitive load of learning vocabulary on mobile phones

Chih Cheng Lin, Ya Chuan Yu

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The present study examined the effects of MMS vocabulary learning and the extent of cognitive load in different multimedia modes. This study of within-subject design recruited 32 eighth graders in central Taiwan to study 36 target words divided into four sets. Each set was presented in one of the four multimedia modes: text, text-audio, text-picture, and text-audio-picture. Immediately after learning each set all participants took a vocabulary test and a cognitive load questionnaire; and, they took a delayed test after two weeks. The results of ANOVA showed no significant differences in vocabulary gains and retention among the four modes, but in cognitive load. The text-audio-picture mode imposed lower load on our adolescents than the text mode and the text-picture mode; also, the text-audio mode induced lower cognitive load on learning than the text mode. Semantic simplicity in the target words and our learners' repeated exposures could contribute to leveling off the differences in vocabulary gains and retention. Audio references, on the other hand, helped our learners associate forms with sounds and enhanced the input from an additional channel. The findings not only supported features of portability and immediacy in mobile learning but also confirmed the modality effect and the temporal contiguity effect of content presentations in multimedia learning.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Event20th International Conference on Computers in Education, ICCE 2012 - Singapore, Singapore
Duration: 2012 Nov 262012 Nov 30


Other20th International Conference on Computers in Education, ICCE 2012


  • Cognitive load
  • Mobile phones
  • Multimedia messaging service (MMS)
  • Multimedia modes
  • Vocabulary learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Education


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