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Listening Skills Development Through Multimedia

By Carla Meskill

As multimedia technology becomes more accessible to teachers and learners of other languages, its potential as a tool to enhance listening skills becomes a practical option. Multimedia allows integration of text, graphics, audio, and motion video in a range of combinations. This paper examines multimodal processing and its implications for listening skills development in a foreign or second language. When multiple forms of input may hypothetically cause interference or cognitive/perceptual overload, studies involving second- and foreign-language students and subtitled video provide strong counterevidence. These combined media, on the contrary, appear to enrich both processing and recall of the target language. Furthermore, including visuals for listening skills development finds support when rates of spoken language and the human ability to process incoming aural information are considered. Research by Carla Meskill, University of Albany, State University of New York in 1996.

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Tags: research