The relationship between attention and extraneous load: bridging second language acquisition theory and cognitive load theory
There has been a call in recent years for an integration of cognitive load theory into instructed second language acquisition practices to assist language learners by taking advantage of theories on human cognitive architecture. This paper seeks to move the conversation on how this integration might be achieved by presenting findings from survey data conducted with learners enrolled online courses at a cyber-university in South Korea (n = 68). Findings show a statistically significant positive relationship between distraction and extraneous load. These results are used to postulate a model for explaining the how the effects of extraneous load on attention can be integrated into second language learning theory. Pedagogic implications of this are the value of explicitly signaling key vocabulary and grammar, ensure spatial and temporal considerations are made when using multimodal instruction, and placing learners at the center of decisions on the blend of media they experience in instruction.