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Title: English reading-listening materials and learners' information retention : an analysis of cognitive load theory
Author: Kanokpermpoon, Monthon
ISNI:       0000 0004 8505 7697
Awarding Body: Newcastle University
Current Institution: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Date of Award: 2019
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Cognitive Load Theory (CLT) derives from educational psychology and explains how to design instructional materials for cognitive load learning and problem solving. It examines how supportive cognitive load, e.g. integrated and modality tasks, results in better learning than hindering cognitive load, e.g. split-attention and redundancy tasks. However, very few studies have investigated cognitive load and working memory capacity, especially in EFL cognitive load learning. This research, therefore, aims to bridge the gap in examining the application of CLT in the design of EFL reading-listening materials and its effects on EFL learners' information retention and learning. Integrating CLT with Baddeley's Working Memory (WM) model, this research employed a mixed-methods approach, consisting of three experiments (WM tests, subjective rating scales and semi-structured interviews) on two experimental groups of seventy-nine Thai EFL undergraduate participants. CLT was employed as intervention effects of supportive and hindering cognitive load, while the WM model acted as a platform for cognitive processing, retention and recognition in EFL reading-listening learning. This supplied both product and process understandings of EFL cognitive load learning and processing. Findings of the study demonstrated that, from three experiments on reading, listening and listening-reading, supportive cognitive load, i.e. integrated reading and integrated listening, resulted in positive learning when compared with split-attention effects of reading and listening, respectively. Positive retention effects were found on integrated reading and modality listeningreading, compared with split-attention reading and redundancy listening-reading, respectively. These findings confirmed that CLT was applicable in the design of EFL integrated reading and integrated listening for cognitive load learning, and integrated reading and modality listeningreading for EFL information retention. In terms of information retention, the best supportive cognitive load was found on integrated reading, in that participants reported positive processing in subjective ratings and in the semistructured interviews that they processed reading information little by little, allowing them to think, understand and remember information efficiently. Modality listening-reading was also found to support retention, in that a graphic summary was registered in the visual channel of WM, which was explained by Dual Coding Theory in the interview analysis and further confirmed in the recognition tests. However, the research found no statistically significant differences in recognition between all supportive and hindering cognitive load, suggesting that learners recognised learnt EFL information in their recognition memory. iv The present research contributes to the application of CLT in the design of EFL instructional materials for learning and testing. Also, in addition to experimental results, the use of subjective ratings and semi-structured interviews as research tools contributes to the practicality of research methods in accessing cognitive processing, especially in EFL classroom research contexts. This confirms that a mixed-methods approach is applicable in CLT and language education research. Further research is suggested to verify if the design of CLT instructional materials for EFL speaking and writing could be carried out in a mixed-methods approach. Research could also include other types of supportive and hindering cognitive loads in EFL learning. This is to extend our understanding on how language skill materials are learnt and engaged cognitively through the lens of mixed-methods approach.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Thammasat University, Thailand
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available