Using dual-coded multimedia instructions to assist TESOL students in reading comprehension
Abstract: Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) instructors often find it is challenging to teach reading comprehension. Dual Coding Theory suggests that our mental information processing in cognitive tasks rely on two interconnected systems: one for verbal units and the other for images (Sadoski & Paivio, 2013). Students with good reading skills can quickly create mental representations from written language, while those who cannot image what they hear or see may have trouble grasping the meaning of the paragraph (Bell, 2015), which is consistent with the referential connection between the verbal and visual systems. This study develops multimedia instructions to visualize and verbalize the process of reading comprehension. According to Generative Theory of Multimedia Learning, the input from both visual and auditory sensors utilize memories more efficiently than the input from only one sensor (Mayer, 2001). Each sentence is presented one at a time with accompanying auditory narration using a touch screen computer. Students draw a sketch illustrating meaning of the sentence. With the sentences hidden and sketches shuffled, students select and describe each sketch in the correct order to retell the story. This innovative instructional method may help TESOL reading teachers to identify students who have the sentence “visualization” deficit, and assist these students to develop capacity for building mental images sentence by sentence through the story retelling process.