Document Type : Research Paper


University of Isfahan, Iran


This study explores the effect of online annotations via Interactive White Boards (IWBs) on reading comprehension of Iranian EFL learners. To this aim, 60 students from a language institute were selected as homogeneous based on their performance on Oxford Placement Test (2014).Then, they were randomly assigned to 3 experimental groups of 20, and subsequently exposed to the research treatment after taking a pre-test of reading comprehension. The experimental groups received the L2 texts on IWB screen for comprehension and, at the same time, received the online annotations (auditory, pictorial, and video) attached to the target words. During the session of instruction, the participants read the texts through IWB for comprehension while consulting the annotations attached to the target words. Then, they were tested on their reading comprehension through an immediate post-test in order to measure the effect of instruction on reading comprehension immediately. The results of one-way ANOVA analysis of the data indicated that pictorial annotation group comprehended the L2 texts significantly better than the auditory annotation group. The results also revealed that video annotation group significantly outperformed the other two groups in L2 reading comprehension, confirming the Dual-coding Theory (Paivio, 1971, 1990). The findings of this study may have important implications for foreign language syllabus designers and instructors as well.


Akbulut, Y.(2007). Effects of multimedia annotations on incidental vocabulary learning and reading comprehension of advanced learners of English as a foreign language. Instructional Science, 35(6), 499–517.
Al-Mansour. A. &, Al-Shorman. R.(2012). The effect of computer-assisted instruction on Saudi University students’ learning of English. Journal of King Saud University –Languages and Translation, 24, 51–56.
Al-Saleem, B. I. A.(2012). The interactive whiteboard in English as a foreign language (EFL) classroom. European Scientific Journal. 8(3),126–134.
Al-Seghayer, K.(2001). The effects of multimedia modes on L2 vocabulary acquisition: A comparative study. Language Learning & Technology, 5(1), 202-232.
Ariew, R., & Ercetin, G.(2004). Exploring the potential of hypermedia annotations for second language reading. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 17(2), 237–259.
Aytaç, T.(2013). Interactive Whiteboard factor in Education: Students' points of view and their problems. Educational Research and Reviews. 8(20), 1907-1915.
Bataineh, R & BaniHani, N.(2011). The Effect of a Call Program on Jordanian Sixth Grade Students’ Achievement. Teaching English with Technology and IWB, 11(3),3-24.
Bell, F. L., & LeBlanc, L. B.(2000). The language of glosses in L2reading on computer: Learners’ preferences. Hispania, 83(2), 274-285.
Bogaards, P.(2001). Lexical units and the learning of foreign vocabulary. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 23(3), 321-343.
Bowles, M. A.(2004). L2 glossing: To CALL or not to CALL. Hispania, 87(3), 541-552.
Chen, H.(2002). Investigating the effects of L1 and L2 glosses on foreign language reading comprehension and vocabulary retention. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Computer-Assisted Language Instruction Consortium, Davis, CA.
Cheng, Y., & Good, R. L.(2009). L1 glosses: Effects on EFL learners’ reading comprehension and vocabulary retention. Reading in a Foreign Language, 21(2), 119–142.Retrieved February 22, 2010, from: October 2009/articles/cheng.pdf.
Chodkiewicz, H.(2001). The use of word meanings while reading in English as a foreign language. In S. Foster-Cohen & Nizegorodcew (Eds.), Eurosla Yearbook (pp.29-49). Mahvah, NJ: Erlbaum.
Chun, D. M. & Plass, J. L. (1996a).Effects of multimedia annotations on vocabulary acquisition. The Modern Language Journal, 80(2), 183-198.
Chun, D. M. & Plass, J. L. (1997).Research on text comprehension in multimedia environments. Language Learning & Technology, 1(1), 60-81. Retrieved June 8, 1999, from:
De Ridder, I.(2002). Visible or invisible links: Does the highlighting of hyperlinks affect incidental vocabulary learning, text comprehension, and the reading process? Language Learning & Technology, 6(1), 123-46.
Ellis, R.(1994). The study of second language acquisition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Gillen J, Littleton K, Twiner A, Staarman JK, Mercer N.(2008). Using the interactive white board to resource continuity and support multi modal teaching in a primary science classroom. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 24(4), 348-358.
Gregory S.(2010). Enhancing Student Learning with Interactive Whiteboards: Perspective of Teachers and Students. Australian Educational Computing, 25 (2).31-34.
Groot, P. J. M.(2000). Computer assisted second language vocabulary acquisition. Language Learning and Technology, 4(1), 60-81. Retrieved May 14, 2001, from: vol4num1/groot/.
Ishtaiwa, F.(2010). A synchronous discussion board in the program of Professional Diploma in Teaching: Perceptions of pre-service information technology teachers about IWB services. International Journal of Arts and Sciences, 3(17), 200-219.
Jacobs, G. M., Du Fon, P., & Hong, F. C.(1994). L1 and L2 vocabulary glosses in L2 reading passages: Their effectiveness for increasing comprehension and vocabulary knowledge. Journal of Research in Reading, 17(1), 19-28.
Jeong, B. S.(2001). CALL and vocabulary learning: A review. English Linguistic Science, 7, 27-35.
Jones, B. G.(2000). Emerging technologies: Literacies, and technology or trends. Language Learning and Technology, 4(2), 11–18.
Jones, L.(2004). Testing L2 vocabulary recognition and recall using pictorial and written test items. Language Learning & Technology, 8(3), 122-143.   
Kost, C. R., Foss, P., & Lenzini, Jr. J. J.(1999). Textual and pictorial glosses: Effectiveness on incidental vocabulary growth when reading in a foreign language. Foreign Language Annals, 32(1), 89-113.
Krashen, S.(1989). We acquire vocabulary and spelling by reading: Additional evidence for the input hypothesis. Modern Language Journal, 73(4), 441-464.
Leutner, D., & Plass, J.L.(1998). Measuring learning styles with questionnaires versus direct observation of preferential choice behavior in authentic learning situations: The visualize /verbalizer behavior observation scale. Computers in Human Behavior, 14(4), 543-557.
Laufer, B. & Nation, P.(2001). Passive vocabulary size and speed of meaning recognition: Are they related? In S. Cohen, & Nizegorodcew (Eds.). Eurosla Yearbook (pp. 7-28). Mahvah, NJ: Erlbaum.
Leloup, W. J., & Ponterio, R.(2000). On the net literacy: Reading on the net. Language Learning and Technology, 4(2), 5–10.
Lomicka, L. L.(1998). To Gloss or not to gloss: An investigation of reading comprehension online. Language Learning & Technology, 1(2), 41-50. Retrieved February 7, 2008, from:
Makoto, Y.(2006). L1 and L2 glosses: Their effects on incidental vocabulary learning. Language Learning & Technology, 10(3), 14-21.
Markham, P.(1989). Effects of contextual versus definitional computer-assisted vocabulary instruction on immediate and long-term vocabulary retention of advanced ESL students. Educational Psychology, 9(2), 121-126.
Mayer, R. E. (1997). Multimedia learning: Are we asking the right questions? Educational Psychologist, 32(1), 1-19.
Mayer, R. E. (2001). Multimedia learning. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Mayer, R. E. (2002). Cognitive theory and the design of multimedia instruction: An example of the two way street between cognition and instruction. In D. F. Halpern & M. D. Hakel, (Eds.), Applying the science of learning to university teaching and beyond (pp. 55-72). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Mayer, R. E. (2005a). The Cambridge handbook of multimedia learning. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
Mayer, R. E. (2005b). Cognitive theory of multimedia learning. In Mayer, R.E. (Ed.), The Cambridge handbook of multimedia learning (pp. 31-48). New York: Cambridge University Press.
Mayer, R. E. & Sims, V. K. (1994). For whom is a picture worth a thousand words? Extensions of dual-coding theory of multimedia learning. Journal of Educational Psychology, 86(3), 389-401.
Morgan, GL.(2008). Improving Student Engagement: Use of the Interactive White Board as an Instructional Tool to Improve Engagement and Behavior in the Junior High School Classroom. Doctorate Thesis, A Dissertation Presented to Faculty of the School of Education Liberty University, School of Education, Holland.
OPT. (2014). Oxford Placement Test. Online Reading Test: Oxford University Press.
Plass, J. L.; Chun, D. M.; Mayer, R. E. & Leutner, D. (1998). Supporting visual and verbal learning preferences in a second-language multimedia learning environment. Journal of Educational Psychology,90, 25-36.
Plass, J. L. & Jones, L.(2005). Multimedia learning in second language acquisition. In Mayer, R.E. (Eds.), The Cambridge handbook of multimedia learning (pp. 467- 488). New York: Cambridge University Press.
Paivio, A.(1971). Imagery and verbal processes. New York, NY: Holt, Rinehart & Wilston.
-----------.(1990). Mental representations: A dual coding approach. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Robinson, P.(1995). Attention, memory and the “noticing” hypothesis. Language Learning, 45(2), 283-331.
Sakar, A., & Ercetin, G.(2004). Effectiveness of hypermedia annotations for foreign language reading. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 21(1), 28-38.
Salehi, V.,& Naserieh, F.(2013). The Effects of Verbal Glosses on Vocabulary Learning and Reading Comprehension. The Asian EFL Journal Quarterly. 15(3), 24-64.
Segalowitz, N., Watson, V., & Segalowitz, S.(1995). Vocabulary skill: Single-case assessment of automaticity of word-recognition in a timed lexical decision task. Second Language Research, 11(2), 121-136.
Swan, K., Schenker, J. & Kratcoski, A.(2008). The effects of the use of interactive whiteboards on student achievement. In J. Luca & E. Weippl (Eds.), Proceedings of World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications 2008 (pp. 3290-3297). Chesapeake, VA: AACE.
Yanguas, I.(2009). Multimedia glosses and their effect on L2 text comprehension and vocabulary learning. Language Learning & Technology, 13(2), 48-67.
Yeh, Y., & Wang, C. W.(2003). Effects of multimedia vocabulary annotations and learning styles on vocabulary learning. CALICO Journal, 21(1), 131-144.
Yoshii, M.(2006). L1 and L2 glosses: Their effects on incidental vocabulary learning. Language Learning & Technology, 10(3), 85–101. Retrieved June 14, 2009, from:
Yun, J. (2011). The effects of hypertext glosses on L2 vocabulary acquisition: A meta-analysis. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 24(1), 39-58.
Watanabe, Y.(1997). Input, intake, and retention: Effects of increased processing on incidental learning of foreign language vocabulary. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 19(3), 287-307.
Winzenried, A., Dalgarno, B., & Tinkler, J.(2010). The interactive whiteboard: A transitional technology supporting diverse teaching practices. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 26(4), 534-552.
Wolfe, J. L.(2002). Annotation technologies: A software and research review. Computers and Composition. 19, 471-497.