Students’ Evaluations of Multilingual Educational Slides and Their Visual Attention Distribution on Slides with Different Layouts

  •  Laksmira K. Adhani    
  •  Gerard B. Remijn    


Following efforts to promote internationalization at academic institutions, the use of multiple languages on educational slides (e.g., PowerPoint) has gradually increased. Multilingualism in learning has its advantages, but having multiple languages on educational slides can lead to crowding and cognitive overload. To investigate how students perceive multilingual slides, evaluations were gathered from Japanese (N = 20) and Indonesian students (N = 20) during an eye-tracking experiment in which their visual attention distribution on the slides was assessed. The slides contained text in three languages (English, Japanese, and Bahasa Indonesia) and were varied according to their layout. One group watched slides with text separated in blocks, with one text block for each language, while the other group watched slides consisting of a single, mixed block with each sentence describing the same information in a different language. The students’ evaluations showed that slides with a mixed layout were judged as more crowded and required more processing effort than slides with a separated-block layout. Furthermore, while the students dwelled their gaze significantly longer on text in their native language (either Bahasa Indonesia or Japanese) on separated-block slides, for slides with a mixed layout, the gaze patterns did not significantly differ between languages. The results of a comprehension quiz taken after the slide presentation, however, showed that students performed better after having watched the slides with the mixed layout. Thus, although judged as more crowded and requiring a wider attention distribution, slides with a mixed layout may be preferable in multilingual education.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1927-5250
  • ISSN(Online): 1927-5269
  • Started: 2012
  • Frequency: bimonthly

Journal Metrics

Google-based Impact Factor (2021): 1.93

h-index (July 2022): 48

i10-index (July 2022): 317

h5-index (2017-2021): 31

h5-median (2017-2021): 38

Learn more