ABSTRACT This study investigated the effects of selected pictorial contexts on measures of reading comprehension in beginnning college French. A 6 × 3 factorial design was used to examine the effects of two independent variables. The pictorial context variable consisted of six levels: (1) no visual context; (2) a single-object drawing; (3) prethematic context; (4) thematic context; (5) postthematic context; and (6) multiple context. The textual materials variable consisted of three levels: (1) no text; (2) a 650-word text in French; and (3) the same text in English. 664 subjects at The Ohio State University participated in the 18 treatment conditions. Comprehension of the text was measured by (1) a résumé, to be written in English by the subject, measuring recall knowledge; and (2) a 20-item test of recognition knowledge. Results support the research hypothesis that the advantages of having illustrations in the second Language accrued from the fact that the pictures served as advance organizers of a general nature, facilitating the hypothesis-testing process.