Double subtitles as an effective tool for vocabulary learning Cover Image

Double subtitles as an effective tool for vocabulary learning
Double subtitles as an effective tool for vocabulary learning

Author(s): Elena Lazareva, Hanneke Loerts
Subject(s): Foreign languages learning
Published by: Państwowa Wyższa Szkoła Zawodowa w Koninie
Keywords: natural approach; authentic input; incidental vocabulary learning; standard subtitles; double subtitles

Summary/Abstract: The present study aimed to investigate if and how the mere minimal exposure to subtitled audio-visual input in an unknown language can enhance incidental vocabulary learning. Three experimental conditions were compared in which native Dutch participants with no prior knowledge of the target language (Russian) viewed an eight-minute Russian cartoon with: (a) standard (Dutch) subtitles or (b) double (Russian and Dutch) subtitles. A control group watched the cartoon: (c) without subtitles. All participants were tested on vocabulary gains and visual information processing after having watched the cartoon three times. Results revealed that vocabulary acquisition did occur after watching the cartoon. Interestingly, participants who were exposed to the double subtitles condition significantly outperformed those who watched the cartoon with standard subtitles on a written word recognition test. Moreover, participants who were exposed to the subtitle conditions were better at remembering the sequence of scenes from the cartoon they had seen. The results thus provide evidence for increased processing of the visual scene as well as incidental vocabulary learning after the exposure to subtitled audio-visual input with no pre-existing knowledge of the target language and, more specifically, evidence for the particularly beneficial effects of the double subtitles.

  • Issue Year: 5/2017
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 61-92
  • Page Count: 32
  • Language: English