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Open Access

Document Type


Degree Program


Degree Type

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



multimedia, sla, chinese, pedagogy, "grammar comprehension"


The use of Multimedia materials has been widely accepted as an useful and effective tool in the field of second language acquisition (SLA). Many studies and researchers have examined multimedia material’s effectiveness from a number of aspects, including four skills of language learning: listening, speaking, reading (including vocabulary comprehension) and writing. However, the effectiveness of multimedia material from the aspect of L2 grammar comprehension hasn’t been well explored.

This study examines the effectiveness of multimedia material in teaching second language grammar comprehension among beginning and intermediate-level Chinese learners. In particular, it investigates the relative efficacy of three different modes used in teaching an important Chinese grammar, directional complements: text alone, text with a still picture and text with video clips. The study’s focal issue is to determine which mode or modes — text alone, text with still picture or text with dynamic video clip — is most effective in aiding grammar acquisition in both short-term and long-term.

The study employed an immediate post-test and a delayed post-test. The participants were 53 college students, beginning level Chinese language learners who had studied Chinese for a half year, and were naturally assigned to one of the three parallel groups. The three groups differed as to the use of the different mode used to present the teaching material: text-only, text-picture, and text-video.

Analysis of the collected data yielded three main findings. First, learners who received text-video material outperformed those who received text-picture; and learners who received text-picture material outperformed those who received text-only. Secondly, learners who received text-video had significantly better long-term comprehension than the other two groups. Finally, the performance advantage of text-video treatment was particularly significant with more complex target forms.

The results demonstrate that multimedia material can help L2 learners’ grammar comprehension. Text-picture and text-video were more effective than text-only, and text-video material was more effective than text-picture.


First Advisor

Zhijun Wang