Synchronous and Asynchronous Multimedia and Iranian EFL Learners’ Learning of Collocations

Document Type: Original Article

Authors

Allameh Tabataba'i University, Tehran, Iran

Abstract

The use of effective multimedia instructions such as mobiles, computers, and the internet in language learning has turned out to be useful since the last decades. The impact of multimedia and synchronous approaches of computer-assisted language learning (CALL) on English as a foreign language (EFL) learners' learning of language skills and components has been studied to some extent. However, the impact of computerized mediated instruction through multimedia (text and graphics) on learning collocations requires further investigations. This study aimed at investigating whether synchronous and asynchronous multimedia components: text and text with added graphics had any effects on EFL learners' learning of collocations. In doing so, 150 male EFL learners at pre-intermediate proficiency level were selected through convenience sampling. They were divided into six groups. The results of the study showed that computerized mediated instruction was more effective than non-computerized instruction. Also, synchronous computerized instruction was more effective than asynchronous computerized instruction. The results also showed that presentation through text with added graphics was more effective than presentation through simple text. The results are discussed and some pedagogical implications are presented.
 
Persian Abstract:
استفاده ازآموزش های چند رسانه ای مؤثر مانند موبایل، کامپیوتر، و اینترنت در آموزش زبان  از چند دهه قبل مرسوم شده است. تأثیر چند رسانه ای و روش های همزمان یادگیری  زبان به کمک کامپیوتر (CALL)  بر  یادگیری مؤلفه ها و مهارتهای زبان انگلیسی به عنوان یک زبان خارجی (EFL) توسط زبان آموزان  تا حدی مورد  مطالعه قرار گرفته است. بااین حال، تأثیر آموزش با کامپیوتر از طریق چند رسانه ای (متن و گرافیک) در یادگیری هم آیی ها  نیاز به تحقیقات بیشتری دارد. هدف از انجام این تحقیق، بررسی تأثیر اجزای چند رسانه ای همزمان و غیرهمزمان: متن و متن بعلاوه گرافیک بر یادگیری هم آیی ها توسط زبان آموزان ایرانی بوده است. برای انجام این تحقیق، 150 زبان آموز مذکر با سطح زبانی پیش از متوسط ​​با روش نمونه گیری در دسترس انتخاب شدند. آنها به شش گروه تقسیم شدند. نتایج حاصل از این مطالعه نشان داد که آموزش با کامپیوتر مؤثرتر از آموزش غیر کامپیوتری بود. همچنین، آموزش کامپیوتری همزمان مؤثرتر از آموزش کامپیوتری ناهمزمان بود. همچنین نتایج نشان داد که ارائه  از طریق متن با گرافیک مؤثرتر از ارائه از طریق متن ساده بود. نتایج به دست آمده مورد بحث و برخی از مفاهیم آموزشی ارائه شده است.
کلید واژه ها: غیر همزمان، یادگیری زبان به کمک کامپیوتر، هم آیی ها، همزمان، چند رسانه ای، زبان آموزان ایرانی

Keywords

Main Subjects


1. Introduction
1.1. Theoretical Background 
The  digital  era  in  which  we  live  presents  challenges  for  education  systems.  It  offers
opportunities for teaching, learning, and pedagogy (Battro & Fischer, 2012). The digital term

is  more  associated  with  technologies  such  as  multimedia  environments  and  devices  which
can  present  information  in  the  real  time  and  at  high  speed  (Gallardo-Echenique,  Bullen  &
Marqués-Molías, 2016). 
The rapid growth in the application of digital technologies, especially the computerized
mediated  instruction  devices  such  as  Internet  and  computers,  has  a  significant  impact  on
education,  society  and  many  aspects  of  daily  life  (Jelfs  &  Richardson,  2012;  McGlinn  &
Parrish, 2002). It seems that multimedia has the ability to change the ways that people learn
and  communicate;  it  can  let  them  communicate  with  family  and  friends  and,  extend  their
social  networks.  It  enables  rapid  synchronous  as  asynchronous  communication  (Jelfs  &
Richardson, 2012).
Advances  in  network  technologies  led  to  the  emergence  of  virtual  worlds  to  facilitate
asynchronous  (offline),  synchronous  (online),  and  communication  between  users.  Of  the
many  network  technologies  which  are  now  being  employed  in  CALL,  immersive  virtual
environments  seem  to  hold  great  potential  as  learning  tools.  The  impact  of  the  use  of
technology  in  general  and  computer  in  particular  in  the  educational  area  is  increasingly
evident and teachers are  fully aware of the terms such as education technology, science  and
technology,  internet,  multimedia,  satellites,  simulation,  educational  games,  electronic
networks,  etc. The  application  of  the  above  mentioned  jargons  shows  the  ongoing  nature  of
the educational setting which turns out to be an important part of the new world order. Such
an application of technology started to modernize the teaching/ learning process and therefore
started to modify the way the educational system works (Son, 2008). 
Abrams  (2008)  holds  that  computer-mediated  instruction  helps  learners  negotiate  and
interact with their peers actively to develop their communicative competence. She points out,
"computer-mediated learner-to learner interaction offers L2 learners unique opportunities for
active control of topic selection and management and provides rich opportunities for learners
to  recognize  and  adapt  to  diverse  interactional  patterns  through  collaboration  among  the
interactants"  (p.  1).  The  main  focus  of  the  present  study  is  to  investigate  the  effects  of
synchronous and asynchronous multimedia components: text and text with added graphics on
EFL learners’ learning of collocations.
1.2. Asynchronous and Synchronous modes
There  are  two  main  CMC  modes:  asynchronous  and  synchronous  which  seems  to  have
different functions and they can be used for different pedagogical purposes.  Also, they can be
used to significantly promote linguistic interaction and negotiation between different groups 
 
of learners, and as a result, lead to producing a large amount of language output. Fitz (2006)
reported that CMC modes influence the quality and quantity of different discourse functions.
As  Abrams  (2003)  argues,  synchronous  and  asynchronous  modes  can  provide  extensive
learner-to-learner  interaction  and  negotiation,  more  amount  of  output  than  face-to-face
communication,  and  more  talking  time  per  learner  (Abrams,  2003).  The  use  of  CMC  is  of
much  interest  because  it  has  a  number  of  advantages  in  promoting  communication,
negotiation, interaction and socialization as summarized by several researchers (to name just
a few, AbuSeileek, 2012; AbuSeileek & Qatawneh, 2013; Lee, 2011) for learners of foreign /
second  languages.  Computerized  mediated  instruction  has  been  reported  to  have  several
advantages and to:
a.  produce a large amount of target language output;
b.  allow  more  time  to  develop  comments,  which  may  lead  to  a  greater  precision  of
expression;
c.  promote a collaborative spirit;
d.  enhance motivation for language practice;
e.   promote student-centered atmosphere;
f.  focus on content rather than form;
g.  reduce students’ anxiety from face-to-face communication in a foreign language class; 
h.  provide opportunities for students to express their opinions; and
i.  develop student’s linguistic performance (AbuSeileek & Qatawneh, 2013).
1.3. Multimedia and language teaching
The  variety  in  media  including  text,  audio,  video,  and  graphics  for  delivering  content  has
attracted  and  encouraged  many  teachers  and  learners  to  use  the  technology  and  internet  for
distance  education  (Ali,  2003).  These  multimedia  components  increase  the  learners’
motivation and interest, which many scholars argue is of much significance when teaching to
the internet generation.
Graphics  and  visual  texts  are  some  of  the  most  popular  tools  in  on-line  learning.  In
some cases,  graphics are used to represent important information and to support text (Liles,
2004).  Some  researchers  have  discussed  the  impacts  of  presenting  information  through
multimedia  components  like  spoken  text,  graphics,  visual  text,  and  videos  on  language
learning (Kim & Gilman, 2008). The common finding is that information presented in spoken
words,  graphics,  text,  and  video  formats  can  be  integrated  to  create  an  attractive,  authentic, 
 
and  multi-sensory  language  input  for  EFL  learners  (Kim  &  Gilman,  2008,  Sun  &  Dong,
2004). 
It is also argued that the use of both  effective multimedia instruction (Kim & Gilman,
2008) and technology such as mobile, computer, and internet in language learning (Thornton
& Houser, 2005; Tabatabae & Heidari Goojan, 2012) has been an important issue. 
1.4. Research Objectives
A number of studies (Son, 2008, Rezai &  Zafari, 2010; Tabatabae & Heidari Goojan, 2012)
exploited  the impact of multimedia and synchronous approach of CALL on EFL learners’
vocabulary  learning.  However,  it  seems  that  the  impact  of  text,  audio  and  visual  aids  on
learning  collocations  has  not  been  given  appropriate  attention.  Moreover,  no  one  has
compared the effect of synchronous and asynchronous text, audio and visual aids on learning
collocations  which  deals  with  combining  words.  The  present  study  aimed  at  investigating
whether  synchronous  and  asynchronous  multimedia  components:  text  and  text  with  added
graphics has any effects on EFL learners’ learning of collocations. The main objectives of the
present study can be stated in the following research questions:
Q1.  Does  the  use  of  multimedia  components  have  any  impact  on  developing  EFL
learners' collocations?
Q2.  Does  the  use  of  multimedia,  asynchronously  and  synchronously,  have  the  same
impacts on EFL learners’ learning collocations?
 
2. Review of Literature 
2.1. Related Studies on CALL
 Different  studies  have  investigated  the  role  of  synchronous  computerized  mediated
instruction  in  different  components  and  areas  of  language:  grammar  (AbuSeileek,  2012;
Laborda, 2009; Lee, 2011; Liou & Penga, 2009; Shang, 2007; Tabatabae & Heidari Goojan,
2012;  Son,  2008;  Yanguas,  2010),  vocabulary  (Fotos,  2004),  and  pronunciation  (Jepson,
2005).  Among  those,  Kern  (1995)  found  that  learners  produced  more  language  in  CMC
contexts  than  in  FTF  interaction.  Kern  (1995)  also  revealed  that  grammatical  accuracy  of
learners dramatically improved in CMC environments. 
Among the related studies, Tabatabae and Heidari Goojani (2012) argued that that using
short  message  service  has  a  significant  impact  on  vocabulary  learning  of  Iranian  EFL  high
school  students.  They  also  argued  that  both  English  teachers  and  students  had  positive
perceptions about the application of SMS in the students’ vocabulary learning. 
 
 
In the same vein, Sadeghi and Ahmadi (2012) investigated the impacts of three kinds of
gloss  conditions:  computer-based  audio  gloss,  traditional  non-CALL  marginal  gloss,  and
computer-based extended audio gloss on the reading comprehension of Iranian EFL learners.
They  found  that  extended  audio  gloss  group  comprehended  online  computerized  L2  texts
better than other groups. Moreover, all experimental groups performed better than the control
group  in  comprehending  the  text. Their  study  offers  clear  evidence  that  utilizing  computers
and  multimedia  glosses  can  be  influential  in  teaching  language  in  general  and  online
computerized second language text comprehension in particular.
Similarly,  Saffarian  and  Gorjian  (2012)  argued  that  computer-based  video  games  can
vividly facilitate students’ learning performance. They also concluded that EFL teachers can
make  use  computer-based  video  games  as  an  instructional  approach  in  order  to  improve
students’ higher-order  thinking.  Moreover,  they  claimed  that  computer-based  video  games
can improve students’ achievement in higher-level cognitive thinking processes and problem-solving strategies.
Al-Masri  (2011)  investigated  the  effect  of  web-based  curricula  on  Jordanian  students'
achievement  in  English  language.  The  participants  of  the  study  were  distributed  into  four
groups  (female  experimental  control  group,  male  experimental,  and  control  groups).  The
experimental groups were taught through web-based curricula while the control groups were
provided  with  the  traditional  curricula.  The  results  indicated  that  there  was  significant
difference  between  the  experimental  groups  and  the  control  groups  in  favor  of  the
experimental group. However, there was no significant interaction between gender and group.
Moreover, Kim and Gilman (2008) investigated the impacts of multimedia components
such as spoken text, visual text, and graphics in a self-instruction program on increasing EFL
learners’  English  vocabulary  learning  at  Myungin  Middle  School  in  Seoul,  South  Korea.
Their  finding  verifies  the  idea  that  the  application  of  visual  media  supports  vocabulary
acquisition  and  helps  EFL  learners  increase  achievement  scores.  They  also  concluded  that
offering  graphics  to  illustrate  the  definition  seems  to  be  an  effective  way  to  improve  the
learning  of  English  vocabulary.  Students  were  likely  to  be  motivated  when  visual  text  was
presented  with  graphics  because  text  alone  was  not  usually  translated  in  a  manner  that  was
meaningful to the learners, while graphics allowed them to visualize the definition in a more
meaningful way.
Kost  (2004)  examined  the  effects  of  synchronous  computer  mediated  communication
(S-CMC) on the development of oral proficiency and writing. He compared the mean scores 
 
between the pre- and post-tests among three  groups: two treatment groups (face to face and
S-CMC)  and  one  control  group.  The  treatment  included  a  two-stage  activity:  participants
conducted  a  web  search  activity  followed  by  a  role-play.  Unlike  the  control  group,  in  the
experimental  group,  the  role-play  was  carried  out  in  the  classroom  face  to  face  and  in  the
chartroom.  His  study  did  not  find  a  significant  difference  in  the  development  of  oral
proficiency among the three groups.
Abrams  (2003)  examined  the  effects  of  two  types  of  computer-mediated
communication  (CMC)  on  oral  performance  to  investigate  whether  or  not  these  activities
could  be  a  good  preparation  for  oral  discussions.  He  compared  the  performance  of  three
groups:  synchronous  and  asynchronous  CMC  (S-CMC  and  A-CMC)  groups,  experimental
groups,  and  FTF  group.  The  participants  had  three  discussion  classes.  In  the  first  one,  each
group was  given  a  reading  assignment one week before  each oral discussion session.  In the
other discussion class, the S-CMC group had a discussion on the Web-CT chat the day before
the  oral  discussion,  whereas  the  A-CMC  group  was  given  one  week  to  discuss  personal
experiences and the assigned readings on the Web-CT bulletin board. The control group had
regular classroom exercises, such as pair and group work activities. Findings from this study
indicated that S-CMC is a more effective preparatory activity for the whole-class discussion
than either A-CMC or small-group or pair work activities.
Moreover,  Tozcu  and  Coady  (2004)  conducted  a  case  study  which  examined  the
outcomes in vocabulary acquisition when using traditional materials as opposed to interactive
computer-based texts. The goal was to determine the effect of traditional vocabulary training
via  print  texts  as  opposed  to  direct  vocabulary  instruction  via  computer  assisted  learning.
Moreover,  the  effect  of  this  direct  instruction  on  word  recognition  speed,  reading
comprehension,  and  reading  rate  were  also  analyzed.  The  findings  suggested  that  the
experimental  group  (who  used  a  tutorial  computer  assisted  courseware)  outperformed  the
control  group in  all the  analyzed areas: reading  comprehension, vocabulary knowledge, and
reading speed. The findings verify positive implications of integrating technology in foreign
language classrooms for vocabulary development.
AbuSeileek  (2009)  explored  the  effect  of  a  CALL  program  on  students'  writing
performance in English by teaching the program collectively and cooperatively. The findings
of  the  study  showed  that  there  was  a  statistically  significant  difference  between  the
experimental  group,  who  studied  through  computer,  and  the  control  group,  who  used  the 
 
traditional method. That  is, the experimental  group who studied via computer outperformed
the control group.
Al-Qomoul  (2005)  conducted  a  study  to  investigate  the  effect  of  an  instructional
software  program  of  English  language  functions  on  tenth  graders'  achievement.  The  results
showed  that  the  students  who  studied  the  English  language  functions  through  CAI  lessons
performed better than those who learnt by the traditional method. Shang (2007) examined the
overall effect of using e-mails on the writing performance of Taiwanese students in English.
Findings showed that students made improvements on syntactic complexity and grammatical
accuracy. The results also revealed that the e-mail writing was a positive strategy that helped
improve their foreign language learning and attitudes towards English.
2.2. Review of Collocation Studies
Probably, in the first systematic attempt to categorize English collocations, Benson,  Benson
and  Ilson  (1997)  in  their  BBI  Combinatory  Dictionary  of  English  categorized  collocations
into  two  major  groups:  grammatical  collocations  and  lexical  collocations.  Grammatical
collocations  consist  of  a  noun,  an  adjective,  or  a  verb  plus  a  preposition  or  a  grammatical
structure (e.g. need to, to be afraid that). Lexical collocations consist of various combinations
of  nouns,  adjectives,  verbs  and  adverbs.  There  are  several  structural  types  of  lexical
collocations:  verb+noun  (e.g.,  inflict  a  wound),  adjective+noun  (e.g.,  heavy  drinker),
noun+verb  (e.g.,  water  freezes),  noun+noun  (e.g.,  a  world  capital),  adverb+adjective  (e.g.,
closely related), verb+adverb (e.g., affect deeply).
Hassanabadi  (2003)  used  a  multiple-choice  test  of  collocation  in  order  to  evaluate  the
performance  of  Iranian  EFL  learners  on  lexical  and  grammatical  collocations.  Findings
suggested  that  there  was  a  significant  difference  between  the  participants  performance  on
different  subcategories  of  lexical  collocations  which  was  slightly  in  favor  of  verb+noun
collocations.  Among  grammatical  collocations,  participle+adjective+preposition  was  the
easiest and preposition+noun was the most difficult. 
Zughoul  and  Abdul-Fattah  (2003)  investigated  the  collocational  competence  of  Arab
learners  of  English  using  receptive  and  productive  tests  of  collocation.  They  found  that
although  the  participants  of  their  study  were  advanced  language  learners,  they  still  had
difficulties  with  collocational  sequences.  The  learners'  performance  in  the  receptive  task
(multiple-choice  test)  was  significantly  better  than  their  performance  in  the  productive  task
(translation  test).  Faghih  and  Sharafi  (2006)  also  used  a  multiple  choice  test  of  lexical
collocations.  The  multiple  choice  test  included  verb+noun,  adjective+noun,  and  other 
 
 collocations. The  results  indicated  that  adjective+noun  was  the  most  difficult  and  collective
noun+count noun was the easiest types of collocations.
Shehata  (2008)  studied  the  collocational  competence  of  ESL  and  EFL  learners  of
English. The ESL  group had different non-English majors. The EFL students were studying
English. They  were  given  productive  and  receptive  collocation  tests.  She  found  a  moderate
positive  correlation  between  learners’  knowledge  of  collocations  and  their  amount  of
exposure  to  the  language.  In  addition,  verb+noun  collocations  were  found  to  be  easier  than
adjective+noun collocations and knowledge in receptive test was broader than knowledge in
productive test.
Chen (2008) investigated the collocational competence of non-English major students.
The participants' scores on English subject of College Entrance Examination were compared
with  their  performance  on  a  multiple-choice  test  of  collocation  including  both  grammatical
and  lexical  collocations.  The  findings  showed  that  verb+noun  collocations  were  the  most
difficult  lexical  collocations,  whereas  noun  +  preposition  collocations  were  the  most
demanding of grammatical collocations.
Shokouhi  and  Mirsalari  (2010)  used  a  multiple-choice  collocation  test  including
grammatical  and  lexical  collocations.  This  collocation  test  was  divided  into  six  parts  each
devoted  to  one  type  of  collocations. The  results  showed  that  grammatical  collocations  were
more  difficult  than  lexical  collocations  for  learners  to  acquire. Among  the  subcategories  of
lexical collocations, noun+verb was the easiest and noun+proposition was the most difficult
to  acquire.  Noun  +proposition  collocations  were  more  difficult  than  preposition+noun
collocations. 
 
3. Method 
Participants
In order to accomplish the objectives of the study, 150 male EFL learners at pre-intermediate
proficiency level were selected through convenience sampling. They were all within the age
range of 20-24. They were learning English at language institutes (Zabansara and Oxford) in
Ahwaz,  Iran.  The  participants  were  randomly  assigned  to  six  classes:  asynchronous  simple
text  (Group  A),  synchronous  simple  text  (Group  B),  synchronous    simple  text  with  added
graphics  (Group  C),  asynchronous  simple  text  with  added  graphics  (Group  D),  paper  text
(Group  E)  ,  and  paper  text  with  added  graphics  (Group  F).  In  order  to  make  sure  that  the
participants were from the same level of language proficiency, an adopted version of Oxford 
 
 Solution  Test  was  utilized.  Placement  results  confirmed  that  there  was  no  initial  difference
between the participants’ receptive knowledge of grammar, vocabulary, and collocations. The
groups which received instructional materials synchronously received the collocations either
through short messages  or through chatting online with the teacher. Each  group received 30
collocations  each  week  through  short  messages  and  spent  one  hour  a  week  chatting  with
teacher  online  receiving  the  collocations  and  responding  to  the  teacher  messages.  However,
the groups which received the materials asynchronously received 30 e-mails from the teacher
every week. Each mail contained one collocation and the students were required to respond to
each mail.  The paper and pencil groups received collocations through pamphlets, each week
30 collocations were given to the students. The instructional sessions lasted 10 weeks. 
Instrumentation
To carry out the study, three different instruments were used, which are detailed below.
a.  Placement test
To explore the homogeneity of the group, a modified version of Oxford Solution Test (OST)
was  administered,  which  constitutes  two  sections.  The  first  section,  adapted  from  OST,
entailed 50 multiple choice items on grammar and vocabulary. The second section, consisting
of  30  multiple  choice  items,  aimed  to  test  collocations.  Of  note  is  that  the  second  part  was
adapted  from  sample  TOEFL  preparation  textbooks.  Taken  together,  the  placement  test
intended  to  measure  receptive  knowledge  of  collocations,  vocabulary,  and  grammar.  It  is
noteworthy  that  some  measures  were  taken  to  explore  the  reliability  and  validity  of  the
placement  test.  For  example,  the  content  validity  of  it  was  examined  through  expert
judgment.  The  panel  was  asked  to  comment  on  the  appropriacy  of  the  test  in  terms  of
language,  content,  and  level  of  difficulty. Afterwards,  the  test  was  piloted  with  a  group  of
students  (n  =  30)  who  were  at  the  same  level  of  language  proficiency  with  the  participants.
The reliability of the instrument, estimated through KR-21, was acceptably high (85).
b.  Post-test 
The  post  test  was  adapted  from  test  preparation  textbooks.  It  consisted  of  50  multiple  choice
recognition  items  delineating  with  the  participants’ receptive knowledge  of  collocation.  The
content  of  the  test  covered  the  materials  taught  during  the  course.  Different  types  of
collocations including noun+noun, adjective+preposition, verb+ preposition, verb+adverb, and
adjective+noun  were  tested.  Each  item  consisted  of  a  stem  and  four  options. The  participants
were required to select the best choice to fill in the blanks. The reliability of the instrument was
estimated through KR-21 approach. The reliability index was 0.78 which is acceptable. 
 
   
Procedure
After  selecting  the  participants,  they  were  assigned  to  six  homogenous  groups  at  random.
Afterwards,  each  of  the  groups  received  a  specific  treatment  on  the  basis  of  the  procedures
detailed below.
Group  A  and  B  were  instructed  by  means  of  simple  texts  synchronously  and
asynchronously,  respectively. That  is,  Group A  received  each  collocation  in  different  simple
sentences  through  e-mails  (synchronously),  but  Group  B  was  instructed  via  short  messages
and  on-line  chatting  (asynchronously).  Put  it  differently,  they  received  the  same  number  of
sentences for each of the target collocations through either short messages or on-line chatting.
It  should  be  noted  that  after  each  instruction  setting,  both  groups  received  the  same
completion exercises through pertinent instructional tools.
For  Groups  C  and  D,  the  instructional  materials  were  accompanied  with  relevant
supporting  graphics.  Group  C  was  instructed  synchronously,  while  it  was  presented
asynchronously  for  Group  D.  Like  Group  A  and  B,  these  two  groups  received  the  same
completion exercises after each instructional setting.
The  other  two  groups  were  instructed  through  textbooks.  Precisely  put,  Group  E  was
instructed  through  text  books  (Group  E  received  the  materials  only  through  simple  text)
whereas Group F received the same texts in the same textbook which were accompanied with
pertinent graphics. Furthermore, it should be noted that the same competition exercises used
for  the  previous  groups  was  given  to  these  two  groups  but  in  printed  form.  Once  the
instructional  sessions  were  over,  the  same  posttest  consisting  of  the  collocations  covered  in
the course of the instruction was administered to all groups. 
Afterwards,  the  collected  data  were  entered  into  SPSS  (version  20)  and  analyzed  via
different  statistical  procedures.  Descriptive  statistics  such  as  mean,  median,  and  standard
deviations  were  estimated  to  summarize  the  data.  Additionally,  a  Univariate  Analysis  of
Variances (ANOVA) was run to compare  all groups' means on the posttest. Then, through a
post-hoc  Scheffe  test,  the  place  of  differences  among  different  levels  of  the  two  factors
(Computer and Multimedia) were detected. 
 
4. Results and Discussion
Results of Placement Test
To compare the mean scores of the participants on the placement test, a one way ANOVA was
run. The results are shown in Tables 1 and 2.

In order to check the homogeneity of variances, the significance value is checked and since it
was 0.1, which exceeds 0.05, the assumption is not violated (Table 1). As the assumption of
the homogeneity of variances was not violated, in the next step, it was checked whether there
was  any  significant  difference  between  the  groups  or  not. As  it  is  demonstrated  in  Table  2,
there  was  no  significant  difference  at  the  p  <  .05  level  in  proficiency  test  scores  for  the  six 
intact classes[ (F 5,  144) = .4, p = .84. This result demonstrates that  groups  were of the same
level of language proficiency at the beginning of the study (See Table 2).

As shown in Table 3, the mean of the group who received non-computerized instruction
through  text  (23.1)  was  the  lowest  and  the  mean  of  the  group  who  received  synchronous
computerized  text  with  graphics  (44.8)  was  the  highest. Also,  the  mean  score  of  the  group
who received synchronous computerized text (35.8) was different from the mean of the group
who  received  the  same  instruction  asynchronously  (28.9).  The  results  also  show  that  the
mean  score  of  the  group  who  received  synchronous  computerized  text  with  added  graphics
(44.8)  was  different  from  the  mean  of  the  group  who  received  the  same  instruction
asynchronously (39.3). 
 
      
As  there  were  two  factors  (computer  with  three  levels,  and  multimedia  with  three
levels)  and  one  dependent  variable  (the  participants’  score  on  the  posttest),  a  Univariate
analysis of the variances (ANOVA) was run. The results are shown in Table 4.

The results in Table 4 show that there was a significant difference between the means of
the  participants  [F  (331),  df (5),  p=0.001/  p<  0.05].    The  results  also  show  that  there  was  a
significant  difference  between  the  means  of  the  groups  who  received  instruction  through
different  multimedia  (text  and  text  with  added  graphics)  [F  (451),  df (2),  p=0.001/  p<  0.05]. 
Results also reveal that there was a significant difference between the groups which received
computerized-  mediated  instruction  and  the  group  which  received  non-computerized
instruction  (paper  and  book)  [F  (238),  df  (2),  p=0.001/  p<  0.05].    Moreover,  the  interaction
between  computer  and  multimedia  was  significant  [F  (7.8),  df  (1),  p=0.001/  p<  0.05].    The
results  of  follow-up  post  hoc  tests  (i.e. Tuckey),  run  to  locate  the  sources  of  the  differences
between the two factors, are portrayed in Tables 5 and 6. 

As  demonstrated  in  Table  5,  the  difference  between  synchronous  and  asynchronous
computerized  instruction  was  significant  in  favor  of  synchronous  computerized  instruction 
 
[mean  difference  =  (4.5)  p=0.000/  p<  0.05].    The  results  also  show  that  the  difference
between groups which received synchronous computerized instruction and the groups which
received non-computerized instruction was significant [mean difference = (15.8) p=0.000/ p<
0.05].  Moreover,  the  difference  between  the  groups  which  received  asynchronous
computerized  instruction  and  the  groups  receiving  non-computerized  instruction  was
significant  in  favor  of  asynchronous-computerized  instruction  [mean  difference  =  (11.3)
p=0.000/ p< 0.05].

As  shown  in  the  above  table,  the  difference  between  the  groups  who  received
instruction through simple text and the groups who received through instruction through text
with  added  graphics  was  significant  in  favor  of  the  group  receiving  instruction  through  text
with added graphics (p=0.001/p<0.05).  
 
4. Discussion
The  main  objective  of  the  study  was  to  investigate  whether  synchronous  and  asynchronous
multimedia components, text and text with added graphics, had any effects on EFL learners’
learning of collocations. The results of the study indicated that the participants who received
instructional materials through computer had a better performance than the participants who
were not provided with computerized instruction. This finding is compatible with the results
of several scholars (Abraham, 2008; Abrams, 2003; Al-Qumoul, 2005; Liles, 2004; McGlinn
& Parrish, 2002; Safarian & Gorjian 2012; Shang, 2007; Son, 2008) who argued for  the use
of technology in teaching. The superiority of computerized instruction can be ascribed to the
fact that CALL can enhance students’ motivation to read  (Gallardo-Echenique,  et  al.  2016).
In  fact,  due  to  the  raise  in  motivation,  the  students  were  more  motivated  to  read  the
instructional  materials  with  a  more  careful  noticing  and  attention.  As  Schmidt  (2010)
underscored, the level of attention can affect the  quality of attention. That is, the higher the
level of motivation, the more profound the quality of attention, and consequently, the learners
have a better opportunity to turn input into intake. 
The  results  also  showed  that  sync-computerized  instruction  had  a  more  significant
impact on EFL learners’ learning of collocation than asynchronous computerized instruction.

The  results  of  this  study  are  compatible  with  previous  studies  (Son,  2008,  Rezaei  &  Zafari,
2010;  Tabatabae  &  Heidari  Goojan,  2012)  as  they  pointed  out  that  S-CMC  can  develop
language learners’ oral proficiency. One possible explanation for the outperformance of sync-CMC 

lies  in  the  fact  that  sync-computerized  instruction  opened  up  opportunities  for  the
participants to negotiate and remove initial ambiguities. In fact, the participants had the time
to ask questions and to co-construct the meaning and use of collocations. 
The results also showed that the media of the text with added graphics had more a more
significant impact on the participants’ performance than simple media. The results are in line
with numerous   related studies (e.g., Al-Seghayer, 2001; Kim & Gilman, 2008). Therefore, it
could be argued that instructional materials presented in graphics and text can be integrated to
create an authentic and attractive language input for EFL learners (Kim & Gilman, 2008; Sun
& Dong, 2004). 
Moreover,  in  keeping  with  the  findings  of  the  present  study  and  the  review  of  the
literature, it could be concluded that the use of both effective multimedia instruction (Kim &
Gilman,  2008)  and  technology  such  as  mobile,  computer,  and  internet  in  language  learning
(Traxler,  2006; Tabatabae  &  Heidari  Goojan,  2012)  can  be  very  effective  in  EFL  classroom
and it can provide faster and more effective access to instructional materials. 
In  light  of  the  findings,  EFL  teachers  are  recommended  to  provide  their  language
learners  with  opportunities  to  benefit  from  different  media  in  their  instructional  programs;
moreover, they can enrich their instruction by making use of graphics along with text rather
than working on texts without any graphics.

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