Effects of pedagogical movie English subtitles on EFL learners’ vocabulary improvement

2016 IJRSLL – Volume 5 Issue 2


Rostam Shirazi, Roya*
English Department, Najafabad Branch, Islamic Azad University, Najafabad, Iran (r.shirazi90@yahoo.com)

Hesabi, Akbar
English Department, University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran (a.hesabi11@yahoo.com)

Simin, Shahla
English Department, Najafabad Branch, Islamic Azad University, Najafabad, Iran (shahlasimin@yahoo.com)


Using movies might be one way of providing context for vocabulary learning. However, there is a growing debate on the best mode of subtitles in movies as a pedagogical aid in language learning. This study is an attempt to examine the possible effects of two kinds of pedagogical movie subtitles on intermediate-level EFL learners’ English vocabulary improvement. To this end, 28 females, who were randomly selected from larger sample of 35 EFL learners from a language institute in Isfahan, took part in the study. The participants, aged 12 to 16, were then divided into two groups (controllable and uncontrollable subtitle groups) using Oxford Placement Test (OPT). The first group viewed an uncontrollable subtitled movie (English dialogues with unrepeated L2 subtitles) whereas the second one viewed a controllable subtitled movie (English dialogues with repeated L2 subtitles). Instructional materials included 10 parts of a movie, titled ‘Tangled’ (produced in 2010). The EFL participants were instructed on how to learn words in the movie in several sessions. To collect data, a content specific vocabulary test which consisted of 30 multiple-choice items, was developed by the present researchers and was administered as the pretest and posttest of the study. The results of analysis of covariance on the pretest and posttest vocabulary test scores showed that the participants in the controllable English subtitle group performed significantly better than the participants in the uncontrollable English subtitle group. By implication, curriculum developers and EFL instructors can utilize the findings of this study to include movies with target language subtitles to enhance EFL learners’ vocabulary learning.

Keywords: pedagogical English movies; English subtitle; L2 vocabulary learning


DOI: https://doi.org/10.5861/ijrsll.2015.1237

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