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English learning - cartoons with subtitles

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on 30 October 2013

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Transcript of English learning - cartoons with subtitles

Authors:
Karolina Wojtaszek
Kamila Żak
UKKNJA, gr. VIb

THE IMPACT OF WATCHING SUBTITLED ANIMATED CARTOONS
ON INCIDENTAL VOCABULARY LEARNING

Foreign language learning
As a consequence of the rapid development in science, technology and media, foreign language teaching field has gained much improvement in the recent years. Especially,
the function of language classes has significantly changed.

However, language learners have difficulty in following and understanding video materials and TV programs in the target language.

Danan claims that audiovisual materials enhanced with captions or subtitles may function as a powerful educational tool in many ways:
• they improve the listening comprehension skills of foreign language learners;
• facilitate language learning by helping students visualize what they hear;
• increase language comprehension and lead to additional cognitive benefits, such as greater depth of processing.

Danan also reports that many language teachers are against their use in audiovisual materials. This might be because they fear that subtitles may distract learners’ attention, especially that of lower-level learners, from the actual spoken language to written text and create a sense
of laziness on the part of students
Advantages of using audiovisual materials
Are there any disadvantages ?
Another research 1/2
There are also several studies that focused on the effects of subtitles on comprehension in reading, listening and vocabulary acquisition.

These studies aimed to investigate whether captioned videos or TV programs are more effective than non-captioned ones.

The general findings of these studies supported the common assumption that subtitles and captions are powerful instructional tools in learning vocabulary and improving reading and listening comprehension skills of language learners.

Another research 2/2
Fraser reported that 'some incidental second language vocabulary learning occurs in the course of reading for comprehension through the process of inferring word meaning' from the context.

Learning context is really important for vocabulary
teaching and learning since meanings of some vocabulary items are ambiguous when isolated.

The study in Turkey
42 English Language Teaching 1st grade students studying at Mehmet Akif Ersoy University in the academic term 2010-2011
13 male and 29 female students took intensive English courses at high school before their undergraduate education in English Language Teaching
all of the participants were approximately at a similar English proficiency level (upper intermediate) based on their scores obtained from the LYS 5 exam.

Guidelines of the study
A pre-test - post-test experiment and group framework was used as a research design in the study.
The participants were randomly assigned in two groups. In group A, participants watched cartoon movies with the English subtitles and in Group B participants watched without subtitles.
Both groups were given the same pre- and post-tests.
The free software Gom Player, a media player that has the facility to incorporate subtitles into the moving picture, was utilized to play the cartoons.
The pre- and post-test
The Vocabulary Knowledge Scale was composed of 5 levels:
1: I don't remember having seen this word before.
2: I have seen this word before but I don't know what it means.
3: I have seen this word before and I think it means ________ (synonym or translation).
4: I know this word. It means __________ (synonym or translation).
5: I can use this word in a sentence. e.g.: ___________________ (if you do this section, please also do section 4).

Responses to a questionnaire
The participants’ responses were simply coded according to the level they chose for each word on Vocabulary Knowledge Scale.

Level 3, 4 and 5 entail some kind of production from students.
The researchers checked the accuracy of their answers and
marked their choices as they are, if they were correct.

If the responses were incorrect, the researcher downgraded the participant’s choice by one level.
if a participant chose Level 3 for a word, the answer was marked as Level 3 only if the response was accurate
if it was not, then the researcher marked the answer as Level 2.

Conclusions of the study
1. Vocabulary development is a long lasting process that needs to be supported by contextual clues.

2. The new vocabulary items should be presented in context rather than in isolation.

3. Vocabulary improvement occurred incidentally regardless of watching the episodes with or without subtitles.

4. There were no statistically significant differences between subtitle and no subtitle groups in terms of vocabulary gains

5. Another idea might be to incorporate only the keywords instead of whole subtitled sentences, which make a difficulty for learners to follow

The course of the study
18 target words to collect data were integrated into Vocabulary Knowledge Scale.
The scales were distributed to the students in Groups A and B during their course at different times of the same day.
One week after the pre-test, students in Group A watched episodes 3 and 6 from the 3rd season of Family Guy with the English subtitles
the ones in Group B watched them without subtitles at different class hours.
One week later both groups were given the post-tests.
To keep the study reliable, students were not
informed about the purpose of the study till they finished the post-tests
they were not allowed to use their dictionaries during test administration
The responses were placed on a five-point scale.

Results of the test
According to the results of the descriptive statistics:
the highest mean value was seen in the post-test of Group A
the second highest mean value lies in the post-test of Group B
the mean scores of pre-tests of both groups were very close to each other. That shows that both groups had similar
knowledge about the target words before they were exposed to the treatment.

Vocabulary Knowledge Scale - test yourself
Thank you for your attention !
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