Television series inside the EFL classroom : bridging the gap between teaching and learning informal language through subtitles
Gutierrez Colon Plana, Maria del Mar
Faculty of Social Sciences. Instructional and Educational Sciences
Linguistics and education
, p. 107-117
University of Antwerp
This experimental study seeks to explore informal and conversational speech, such as slang,phrasal verbs and colloquial expressions through the use of subtitled TV series (interlingualand intralingual) amongst learners in higher education. Thus, 40 Spanish/Catalan, Dutch,German, Russian, Romanian and Moldavian second year university undergraduates, study-ing a BA in English in the province of Catalonia (Spain) with an A2 to C1 proficiency level ofCEFR, were randomly assigned either to interlingual mode (English sound + Spanish subti-tles) or to intralingual mode (English sound + English subtitles). They were exposed to a totalof 13 subtitled episodes from the American series Friends over a period of 7 weeks. A multi-ple choice and open questions pre-test and a post-test were administered in order to analysethe effect of the two types of subtitles upon informal vocabulary learning and film compre-hension. Results indicated that learners performed better under the EE (intralingual) thanunder the ES (interlingual) mode. No significant interaction has been found between theintervention and the post-test scores, therefore, the difference in scores between the twoconditions of subtitles is not dependent on students prior proficiency level. The obtainedresults support the use of subtitled audiovisual aids in foreign language classroom teaching,being in line with the principles outlined by the Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learningand Theory of Cognitive Load.