Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 11. Number4  December 2020                                    Pp.110-127

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Cognitive Load Theory and its Relation to Instructional Design: Perspectives of Some
Algerian University Teachers of English


Houichi Asma
Department of English, Abd El Hamid Ibn Badis University (DSPM Lab)
Mostaganem, Algeria 

Sarnou Dallel
Department of English, Abd El Hamid Ibn Badis University (DSPM Lab)
Mostaganem, Algeria




Cognitive Load Theory is a theory that can be used by educators to design effective instructions. It has been applied in many areas, including teaching English as a foreign language as it contributes to positive outcomes. Before designing instructions, teachers should well understand the theory of Cognitive Load alongside human brain architecture. Sometimes students are taught more than they can learn due to their limited cognitive capacities which teachers do not consider. Students, therefore, often experience a cognitive overload which may lead to learning failure. So to what extent Algerian university teachers of English are aware of cognitive load theory? This research aims at exploring the perspectives of Algerian university teachers of English on the theory of cognitive load and its connection to instructional design. The study is expected to increase teachers’ awareness of the importance of cognitive load theory in instructional design. 21 English language teachers from different universities of Algeria were enrolled in this query. A questionnaire was used to examine the respondents’ knowledge of the theory and their instructional design experiences. Even though the early expectation was that teachers are knowledgeable about the theory, the research findings showed that teachers lack sufficient knowledge of the theory; yet, they tend to work with some of its techniques when they design instructions.
Keywords: cognitive load theory, EFL Algerian University teachers, human cognitive architecture, instructional design, instructional design techniques

Cite as: Houichi, A., & Sarnou, D.  (2020). Cognitive Load Theory and its Relation to Instructional Design: Perspectives of Some Algerian University Teachers of English.  Arab World English Journal11 (4) 110-127.


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Houichi Asma is currently a PhD student in English at Abd El Hamid Ibn Badis University,
Mostaganem, Algeria. Her research areas include didactics, educational technology and cognitive
sciences. ORCID: