The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of multimedia strategies for instructional techniques and practice on non-native novices' Chinese character learning performance and cognitive load. Two types of multimedia instructional presentations - radical-highlighted and stroke-pronunciation - and two types of practice - visual cue and voice cue - were implemented. Participants were 81 non-native novices randomly assigned to one of the four experimental groups, namely radical-highlighted visual-cue, radical-highlighted voice-cue, stroke-pronunciation visual-cue and stroke-pronunciation voice-cue. An Internet-based e-learning course on the basis of Chinese characters was implemented and delivered as experimental instruction using a Moodle platform. The results show that, for non-native novices, the stroke-pronunciation (SP) strategy of showing strokes with pronunciations is better than the radical-highlighted (RH) strategy, enabling the novices to achieve better performance in identifying Chinese radicals. The significant two-way interactions suggest that (1) the SP presentation should be delivered with the voice-cue (VoC) practice to elicit better performance in writing and in identifying characters and strokes, and (2) the RH presentation should be delivered with visual-cue (ViC) practice to elicit better performance in character writing. Furthermore, participants showed similar levels of perceived cognitive load toward the stroke-based task and the radical-based task. However, when the SP presentation was delivered with the VoC practice, participants revealed lower perceived cognitive load toward the writing task.
ASJC Scopus subject areas