ERIC Number: ED421873
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Nov
First Language Subtitles: Help or Hindrance?
Katchen, Johanna E.
Two studies investigated what instructional issues may be involved when second-language television recordings with first-language subtitles are used in the second-language classroom. The experiments were conducted in an English-as-a-Second-Language class in advanced listening for native Chinese-speakers. In the first experiment, conducted at mid-term, 14 students watched British mysteries, subtitled in Chinese, and summarized them, transcribed a portion word-for-word, commented on the utility or hindrance of subtitles, and commented on their own listening ability with regard to the program. In the second experiment, conducted as a final project, ten of the students were given recordings of "X-Files" programs in English with Chinese subtitles and asked to perform the same tasks. Results indicate that: (1) most technical and semi-technical vocabulary can be accessed through subtitles; (2) idioms, slang, and culture-specific referents were more difficult to comprehend; and (3) perfect tenses and subjunctive forms, already difficult for the students, were often contracted in conversations and difficult to understand. Students with good listening skills found subtitles slowed their progress, but did benefit from them. Students with lesser listening skills depended more on subtitles. Some found errors in the subtitles. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A