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ERIC Number: EJ926100
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Mar
Pages: 13
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 16
ISSN: ISSN-0039-8322
Testing the Improvement of English as a Foreign Language Instruction among Chinese College Students through Computerized Graphic Visuals
Yang, Quan; Miller, Michael; Bai, Kang
TESOL Quarterly: A Journal for Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages and of Standard English as a Second Dialect, v45 n1 p170-182 Mar 2011
The purpose of this study was to determine if animated illustrations would increase the recall and comprehension of a subject matter, English as a foreign language (EFL), among Chinese college students. The study was specifically designed to identify the influence of graphics on Chinese EFL students' learning by comparing abstract versus concrete graphics and static versus animated graphics on immediate and long-term retention of a lesson through computer-based instruction (CBI). The sample for the study included second-year college students in the departments of Chinese language and literature, political sciences, and history at a 4-year comprehensive university in China. One hundred and seventy (170) students were randomly selected to participate in the study. With the subjects being EFL students learning the content area in a non-English-speaking environment, the study reported significant findings, showing both consistencies and inconsistencies with the findings of previous research in which the subjects were native English speakers. The results of the three-way between-groups ANOVA revealed significant differences in performance between the five Chinese student treatment groups, indicating that concrete animation had the biggest effects on the successful performance of the students. However, when the CBI lesson was supported by graphics other than concrete animation, the text-only group performed significantly better on both the immediate and delayed posttests. The significant interaction between treatment and test item identified by the three-way mixed ANOVA further indicated that treatment conditions had significant effects on the performance of the students when test items or questions were related to or supported by graphics. However, when only verbal descriptions of the test items or questions were provided without graphics, the concrete-static, abstract-static, and abstract-animated groups performed the same as the text-only group. From a research perspective, the findings initiate an important line of inquiry that should include the replication of the study in the hard sciences, in other highly abstract disciplines, and should be replicated among different populations. Further, in the United States, the study should be replicated with both native and international students in the search for better instructional practices. Additionally, research should focus on the types of graphics utilized, the quality of those graphics, and their placement within instructional units. (Contains 8 tables.)
Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, Inc. 1925 Ballenger Avenue Suite 550, Alexandria, VA 22314. Tel: 888-547-3369; Tel: 703-836-0774; Fax: 703-836-7864; Fax: 703-836-6447; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: China