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Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 April 2020

Ana Pellicer-Sánchez*
UCL Institute of Education
Elsa Tragant
University of Barcelona
Kathy Conklin
University of Nottingham
Michael Rodgers
Carleton University
Raquel Serrano
University of Barcelona
Ángels Llanes
University of Lleida
*Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Ana Pellicer-Sánchez, UCL Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL, United Kingdom. E-mail:


Theories of multimedia learning suggest that learners can form better referential connections when verbal and visual materials are presented simultaneously. Furthermore, the addition of auditory input in reading-while-listening conditions benefits performance on a variety of linguistic tasks. However, little research has been conducted on the processing of multimedia input (written text and images) with and without accompanying audio. Eye movements were recorded during young L2 learners’ (N = 30) processing of a multimedia story text in reading-only and reading-while-listening conditions to investigate looking patterns and their relationship with comprehension using a multiple-choice comprehension test. Analysis of the eye-movement data showed that the presence of audio in reading-while-listening conditions allowed learners to look at the image more often. Processing time on text was related to lower levels of comprehension, whereas processing time on images was positively related to comprehension.

Research Article
© The Author(s) 2020. Published by Cambridge University Press

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This manuscript is an output from an ELT Research Award funded by the British Council to promote innovation in English language teaching research. The views expressed are not necessarily those of the British Council. We would like to thank Fabio Parente and Ling Shuping (University of Nottingham), and Radha Chandy (University of Barcelona) for their help with data collection and analysis.



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