The majority of studies in second language acquisition have focused exclusively on the learning of verbal materials rather than the combination of text and visuals such as graphs, diagrams, pictures, and video (Chun & Plass, 1996). Some researchers like Paivio (1990) proposed that using sound and video annotation with text annotation together facilitates the cognitive processes identified for successful second language reading comprehension (Paivio, 1971, 1986, 1990). The main objective of this study was to compare the effects of audio/video annotation used by 68 pre-intermediate level students who were randomly divided into multimedia- and paper-based conditions. Multiple-choice reading comprehension test was used to assess the learners' reading comprehension capability. Independent sample T-test showed statistical significance at ≤0.05 level. This study provides practical information for CALL reading comprehension materials designers in choosing the right combination of modalities in facilitating L2 reading comprehension. It also informed language teachers and administrators who need to make solid decisions about multimedia programs to enhance L2 reading comprehension. © 2011 Published by Elsevier Ltd.
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