The purpose of this study is to investigate whether watching a speaker on a monitor screen improves listening comprehension in a foreign language. Eighty-six Japanese university students participated in the experiment and listened to three-minute lectures under two different conditions: (1) listening to a talk and watching the speaker (audio-visual condition) and (2) listening to a talk without watching the speaker (audio-only). Under the audio-visual condition, students obtained better scores in a listening comprehension test than students under the audio-only condition. The data were then analyzed by dividing the participating students into two groups based on their English listening proficiency. Watching a speaker helped both of the proficiency groups, and the students in a lower proficiency group derived more benefit than those in the upper proficiency group in comprehending the short lectures. The results of the study suggest that providing visual information by allowing the students to watch a speaker talking improves L2 listening comprehension, even if there is no other visual support for the content of the talk. Some pedagogical implications are also discussed in relation to developing learning materials for L2 listening.