Home / Special Issue / JSSH Vol. 30 (S1) 2022 / JSSH(S)-1539-2022


The Effects of Visual Input and Text Types on the Listening Comprehension of EFL Students in China

Tan Shaojie, Arshad Abd Samad and Lilliati Ismail

Pertanika Journal of Social Science and Humanities, Volume 30, Issue S1, December 2022

DOI: https://doi.org/10.47836/pjssh.30.S1.04

Keywords: English as a foreign language, listening performance, multimodal, text type, visual input

Published on: 22 December 2022

In recent years, there has been an interest in using visual input in multimodal applications for language learning. However, the effects of visual input in listening materials remain to be discussed. Past literature has shown no unified answer to the effects of video input in improving listening comprehension scores. Since there are many proposals for the diversified reform of English teaching methods, it is worth examining whether using traditional audio listening only or using different video inputs can bring more significant benefits to students. The subjects of this study are 30 non-English majors in Chinese universities. This paper applied the quantitative research method, testing students’ performance using different listening visual inputs (content, context, and audio only) and different listening text types (monologue and dialogue). Data were analysed using the two-way repeated measures within groups ANOVA. The interaction effects and the main effect of variables on listening performance were examined to explore the impact of visual input and text types on English listening comprehension. The following conclusions are drawn from the data analysis: (1) The interaction effect shows that video and text types significantly affect students’ listening scores. Videos that contain authentic listening scenes and content elements are beneficial to promote listening comprehension as they support students’ interpretation and understanding of what they hear, and (2) It was noted that grouping students by listening proficiency and examining their cultural background would expand the study in the future.

  • Atay, D. (2005). Reflections on the cultural dimension of language teaching. Language and Intercultural Communication, 5(3-4), 222-236. https://doi.org/10.1080/14708470508668897

  • Amiri, F., & Saberi, L. (2017). The impact of learner-centered approach on Learners’ motivation in Iranian EFL students. International Academic Journal of Social Sciences, 4(1), 99-109. https://doi.org/10.9756/iajss/v6i1/1910015

  • Baltova, I. (1994). The impact of video on the comprehension skills of core French students. Canadian modern language Review, 50(3), 507-531. https://doi.org/10.3138/cmlr.50.3.507

  • Campoy-Cubillo, M. C., & Querol-Julián, M. (2015). Assessing multimodal listening comprehension through online informative videos: The operationalisation of a new listening framework for ESP in Higher Education. In Diamantopoulou, S. & Ørevik, S. (Eds). Multimodality in English Language learning. Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003155300-17

  • Chion, M. (2019). The three listening modes. In Audio-vision: Sound on screen (pp. 22-34). Columbia University Press. https://doi.org/10.7312/chio18588-004

  • Cubilo, J., & Winke, P. (2013). Redefining the L2 listening construct within an integrated writing task: Considering the impacts of visual-cue interpretation and note-taking. Language Assessment Quarterly, 10(4), 371-397. https://doi.org/10.1080/15434303.2013.824972

  • Delu, Z. (2009). Multimodal discourse theory and its application to foreign language teaching with modern media technology. Foreign Language Education, 30(4), 15-20. https://doi.org/10.16362/j.cnki.cn61-1023/h.2009.04.006.

  • Ginther, A. (2002). Context and content visuals and performance on listening comprehension stimuli. Language Testing, 19(2), 133-167. https://doi.org/10.1191/0265532202lt225oa

  • Gruba, P. (2006). Playing the videotext: A media literacy perspective on video-mediated L2 listening. Language Learning & Technology, 10(2), 77-92. Http://llt.msu.edu/vol10num2/gruba/

  • Guichon, N., & McLornan, S. (2008). The effects of multimodality on L2 learners: Implications for CALL resource design. System, 36(1), 85-93. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.system.2007.11.005

  • Guillebaud, C. (2017). Introduction: Multiple listenings. Anthropology of sound worlds. In Guillebaud, C. (Ed.) Toward an anthropology of ambient sound (pp. 1-18). Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315755045-1

  • Harmer, J. (2001). The practice of English language teaching. London/New York, 401-405. https://doi.org/10.1177/003368820103200109

  • Hung, H. T. (2015). Flipping the classroom for English language learners to foster active learning. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 28(1), 81-96. https://doi.org/10.1080/09588221.2014.967701

  • Kirschner, P. A., Sweller, J., Kirschner, F., & Zambrano, R. J. (2018). From cognitive load theory to collaborative cognitive load theory. International Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning, 13(2), 213-233. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11412-018-9277-y

  • Lu, Z. (2016). Teaching interpretation of listening text: framework and cases. English Learning (05), 4-7.

  • Li, C. H. (2019). Using a listening vocabulary levels test to explore the effect of vocabulary knowledge on GEPT listening comprehension performance. Language Assessment Quarterly, 16(3), 328-344.

  • Li, Z., Zhu, J., & Li, X. (2021). Factors influencing the behavior of multi-modal information search. Library Hi Tech, (ahead-of-print).

  • Lesnov, R. O. (2018). The role of content-rich visuals in the L2 academic listening assessment construct [Doctoral dissertation, Northern Arizona University].

  • Maleki, A., & Rad, M. S. (2011). The effect of visual and textual accompaniments to verbal stimuli on the listening comprehension test performance of Iranian high and low proficient EFL learners. Theory and Practice in Language Studies, 1(1), 28-36. https://doi.org/10.4304/tpls.1.1.28-36

  • Neri, A., Cucchiarini, C., & Strik, H. (2003, August). Automatic speech recognition for second language learning: how and why it actually works. In Proc. ICPhS (pp. 1157-1160). https://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=

  • Ockey, G. J. (2007). Construct implications of including still image or video in computer-based listening tests. Language Testing, 24(4), 517-537. https://doi.org/10.1177/0265532207080771

  • Picou, E. M., Ricketts, T. A., & Hornsby, B. W. (2011). Visual cues and listening effort: Individual variability. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 54(5), 1416-1430. https://doi.org/10.1044/1092-4388(2011/10-0154)

  • Pusey, K., & Lenz, K. (2014). Investigating the interaction of visual input, working memory, and listening comprehension. Language Education in Asia, 5(1), 66-80. https://doi.org/10.5746/leia/14/v5/i1/a06/pusey_lenz

  • Richards, J. C. (2008). Teaching listening and speaking. In Bailey, K. M. (Ed.) Teaching listerning and speaking in second and foreign language contexts (p. 48). Cambridge university press. https://doi.org/10.5040/9781350093560.ch-007

  • Ruan, X. (2015). The role of multimodal in Chinese EFL students’ autonomous listening comprehension & multiliteracies. Theory and Practice in Language Studies, 5(3), 549. https://doi.org/10.17507/tpls.0503.14

  • Rubin, J. (1994). A review of second language listening comprehension research. The modern language journal, 78(2), 199-221. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-4781.1994.tb02034.x

  • Romero, E. D., & Arévalo, C. M. (2010). Multimodality and listening comprehension: testing and implementing classroom material. Language Value, (2), 100-139.

  • Sadiku, L. M. (2015). The importance of four skills reading, speaking, writing, listening in a lesson hour. European Journal of Language and Literature, 1(1), 29-31. https://doi.org/10.26417/ejls.v1i1.p29-31

  • Sarani, A., Behtash, E. Z., & Arani, S. M. N. (2014). The effect of video-based tasks in listening comprehension of Iranian pre-intermediate EFL learners. Gist: Education and Learning Research Journal, (8), 29-47.

  • Sueyoshi, A., & Hardison, D. M. (2005). The role of gestures and facial cues in second language listening comprehension. Language Learning, 55(4), 661-699. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.0023-8333.2005.00320.x

  • Suvorov, R. S. (2008). Context visuals in L2 listening tests: The effectiveness of photographs and video vs. audio-only format [Master dissertation, Iowa State University]. Iowa State University. https://doi.org/10.31274/rtd-180813-16671

  • Suvorov, R. (2009). Context visuals in L2 listening tests: The effects of photographs and video vs. audio-only format. In C. A. Chapelle, H. G. Jun, & I. Katz (Eds.), Developing and evaluating language learning materials (pp. 53-68). Iowa State University. https://doi.org/10.31274/rtd-180813-16671

  • Suvorov, R. (2015). The use of eye tracking in research on video-based second language (L2) listening assessment: A comparison of context videos and content videos. Language Testing, 32(4), 463-483. https://doi.org/10.1177/0265532214562099

  • Suvorov, R., & Hegelheimer, V. (2013). Computer-assisted language testing. The companion to language assessment, 2, 594-613. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781118411360.wbcla083

  • Seeber, K. G. (2017). Multimodal processing in simultaneous interpreting. The handbook of translation and cognition, 461-475. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781119241485.ch25

  • Vandergrift, L. (1999). Facilitating second language listening comprehension: Acquiring successful strategies. ELT Journal, 53(3), 168-176. https://doi.org/10.1093/elt/53.3.168

  • Vandergrift, L. (2004). 1. Listening to learn or learning to listen? Annual review of applied linguistics, 24, 3-25. https://doi.org/10.1017/s0267190504000017

  • Wagner, E. (2008). Video listening tests: What are they measuring? Language Assessment Quarterly, 5(3), 218-243. https://doi.org/10.1080/15434300802213015

  • Wagner, E. (2010). Test-takers’ interaction with an L2 video listening test. System, 38(2), 280-291. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.system.2010.01.003

  • Wijnants, M., Coppers, S., Rovelo Ruiz, G., Quax, P., & Lamotte, W. (2019, October). Talking video heads: Saving streaming bitrate by adaptively applying object-based video principles to interview-like footage. In Proceedings of the 27th ACM International Conference on Multimedia (pp. 2449-2458).

  • Woottipong, K. (2014). Effect of using video materials in the teaching of listening skills for university students. International Journal of Linguistics, 6(4), 200.

  • Yuan, T., & Fengping, Y. (2021). Construction and Application of Multi-modal Translation Teaching Mode Under Media Turn. International Journal of Education, Culture and Society, 6(6), 198.

ISSN 0128-7702

e-ISSN 2231-8534

Article ID


Download Full Article PDF

Share this article

Recent Articles