Non-Native Speakers and Narration

One interesting position that Ruth Clark takes is that written text probably makes more sense in elearning than audio narration when the audience is composed primarily of non-native speakers. Her argument is that control over pacing is so important here that on-screen text wins out over audio.

I was a little surprised by this, as I would have assumed that with on-screen text it is hard to avoid split-attention effects. Clark cites no sources, and in a quick swing through the literature I can’t find any empirical comparisons of  comprehension of reading versus listening in a non-native language. Interesting assertion, and one I’ll have to think about further as we begin to develop elearning for international audiences at McGladrey.

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