Comparison of video and text narrative presentations comprehension and vocabulary acquisition

A study investigate the effect of video and narrative presentations on children's comprehension and vocabulary acquisition. Participants were students in four heterogeneously grouped eighth-grade English classes (n=16, 22, 21, and 11) in a rural school district in southwestern New York. The short story selected was Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's “The Red-Headed League”. It was chosen for its difficulty level—the text is at the instructional level of most of the students involved. Each class received a different mode of instruction: one class read the story to themselves; another class viewed a video rendition of the story; another class saw the same video but had captions included on the screen; the final class both read the text version to themselves during class and then viewed the video the following class period. A pretest (a matching test) and a posttest (the same matching test with answers in a different order, a series of multiple choice questions to measure comprehension and recall, and a short-answer evaluation question to measure critical thinking) were given. Significant findings are that students who read the text had greater vocabulary acquisition, while students who viewed the video showed a greater comprehension of the story. It appears that video watching has a positive effect on comprehension, and vocabulary acquisition seems to be positively affected when coupled with text. Closed captioning is a recent positive addition to teaching reading through television and video.

Podszebka, D., Conklin, C., Apple, M., & Windus, A.
Paper presented at the SUNY-Geneseo Annual Reading and Literacy Symposium, Geneseo, NY
Related Research
Content Area: 
Grade Level: 
middle school
Instructional Support: 
multimedia products and projects
multiple formats of text and notation
Output Options: 
National Reading Panel Standards: 
English Language Arts: 
Reading: Informational Text
Reading: Literature