The effect of non-native language use in video instructions on comprehensibility.

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The present study focuses on the language used and the presentation of information in instruction videos that show how to perform a certain task. The aim of this study was to discover whether language use influences the comprehensibility of these instruction videos and whether gender plays a role. Research on the dual coding theory, which states that information is best recalled when it is presented visually and verbally at the same time, has mostly been conducted on information presented in L1. To see if the same results hold for information presented in L2, two instruction videos that showed how to build a Lego were designed: one with spoken Spanish without subtitles and one with spoken Spanish and Dutch subtitles. None of the participants that took part in the present study had any prior experience with the Spanish language. Participants watched either one of the instruction videos and, simultaneously, built the Lego house. The correctness of the house was checked in terms of overall correctness and correctness in terms of the colour, shape, and place used, with higher correctness being due to higher comprehensibility of the video. The results showed that watched the video with subtitled had better overall comprehensibility and used the correct colour and shape more often than participants that watched the video without subtitles. Additionally, male participants showed higher overall comprehensibility and comprehensibility in terms of place and shape. It was also discovered that the attitude towards the video seemed to influence the correctness of the building, and, thus, the comprehensibility. The results of this study could provide insights into the effectiveness of (instruction) videos in a foreign language and of subtitling in instruction videos.
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