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Comunicar Journal 77: New languages and cultures. Teaching languages for global and digital communication (Vol. 31 - 2023)

Analysis of short videos on TikTok for learning Portuguese as a foreign language


Yidi Zhang

Margarida Lucas

Pedro Bem-Haja

Luís Pedro


In recent years, short videos have proliferated on various social media platforms, serving as a visual resource with a long history of use for various educational purposes, including foreign language learning (FLL). Despite the growing interest in the use of such platforms for short video learning, little is currently known about the use of these platforms for FLL, highlighting the need to validate these learning resources within a theoretical framework. In this context, this article analyses 34 short videos for Portuguese language learning on TikTok using an adaptation of the principles of multimedia learning proposed by Mayer. It then analyses the relation between the number of principles and each cognitive processing dimension, and the number of views and likes. Results show the adapted principles are suitable for the analysis of short videos for FLL and reveal the most prevalent one is the principle of signalling. Furthermore, the article demonstrates that the more principles a video addresses, the more likes it receives, and that the fostering generative processing dimension plays an important role in this mediation. Overall, the article illustrates the practical application of online short videos as a targeted resource for facilitating FLL and streamlines the development of instructional design strategies for short videos in the context of online FLL.


Short videos, instructional videos, multimedia learning, foreign language, Portuguese, TikTok

PDF file in Spanish

PDF file in English


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