Did we overlook the visual context in bilingually subtitled movies?

Chao GUAN, Qing MA

Research output: Contribution to conferencePapers


With visual technology, the movie has become an indispensable activity of leisure or entertainment. When it is applied in vocabulary learning and teaching, few types of research have been conducted related to bilingual subtitles, or rarely in the context of tutorial schools. The present study probes into the effect of using authentic video clips with subtitles on vocabulary learning. Two groups of secondary school students studying in a tutorial centre, who were 15 or 16 years of age, participated in a quasi-quantitative study. The students were divided into two groups: the experimental group (N = 34) received 'watching' treatment, while the control group (N = 32) was treated in 'reading' condition. The study comprised two treatments, 30 minutes each, on eight consecutive days. Data analyses indicated that not all students in the experimental group could outperform their counterparts in the control group. Only those with an intermediate vocabulary size from 2,000 to 3,000 gained more vocabulary knowledge than their counterparts in the control group. Follow-up interviews were conducted with the tutor, who aided and observed the whole experiment, and several participants from the treatment group. Finally, some pedagogical implications were raised regarding how to effectively apply authentic video clips in classroom learning. Copyright © 2018 Asia TEFL.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018


Guan, C., & Ma, Q. (2018, June). Did we overlook the visual context in bilingually subtitled movies? Paper presented at The 16th Asia TEFL 1st MAAL & 6th HAAL 2018 International Conference: English Language Teaching in the Changing Glocalised World: Research and Praxis, University of Macau, Macau, China.


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