This empirical study investigated whether progressive visuospatial cues presented in a self-regulatory mode could help learners understand the operation of a mechanical system. The learners’ prior knowledge and cueing condition were the independent variables in terms of investigating their effectiveness on retention and transfer test results. A total of 126 English as a foreign language (EFL) learners voluntarily participated in the study. First, their prior knowledge was evaluated. Then, they were assigned to one of the following experimental conditions:—animation-only, entity-cued animation, and arrow-entity-cued animation. Immediately after the experimental treatment, retention and transfer tests as well as a cognitive load questionnaire were administered to assess the learners’ test performance and cognitive load, respectively. The experimental results suggested that progressive snowballing cues were favorable in assisting learners' retention and transfer test results.