THE EFFECT OF STANDARD AND REVERSED SUBTITLING VERSUS NO SUBTITLING MODE ON L2 VOCABULARY LEARNING

Document Type: Research Paper

Authors

1 Assistant Professor Yazd University, Yazd

2 M.A., TEFL Shahid Chamran University, Ahvaz

3 M.A., TEFL Yazd University, Yazd

Abstract

Audiovisual material accompanied by interlingual subtitles is a powerful pedagogical tool which can help improve the vocabulary learning of second-language learners. This study was intended to determine whether or not the mode (standard and reversed) of subtitling affects the incidental vocabulary acquisition of Iranian L2 learners while watching TV programs. Forty-five participants were randomly assigned to one of the three experimental conditions: (a) watching an English movie with original soundtracks and without subtitles (non-subtitling), (b) watching the same movie with foreign language in sound track and native language in subtitles (standard subtitling), and (c) watching the movie with foreign language in subtitles and native language in sound track (reversed subtitling). The study was carried out using a 15-minute-long episode of an animated cartoon about a group of ants trying to confront grasshoppers. The results were clearly suggestive of the paramount and fundamental role of subtitling mode in learning vocabulary. Many of the studies done in the same field mainly have shown the effects of subtitling on the education of the different components of EFL/ESL one way or another. However, unlike many studies, this study enjoying a controlling non-subtitling group demonstrated the relative superiority of reversed subtitled TV programs over standard subtitled and non-subtitled TV programs in terms of enhancing readers' learning of unknown words. It can have implications for language teachers to take into consideration the incorporation of subtitled films into their materials and classrooms.

Keywords