Academic journal article Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods

The Effectiveness of Exposure to Documentary Films with and without Subtitle as Authentic Language Input on Listening Comprehension of Intermediate Level Language Learners

Academic journal article Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods

The Effectiveness of Exposure to Documentary Films with and without Subtitle as Authentic Language Input on Listening Comprehension of Intermediate Level Language Learners

Article excerpt

1. INTRODUCTION

Technology as a pedagogical tool for learning and swelling a language has been the focus of many researchers and teachers (Bahrani & Tam, 2012). Computer as an old technology helps in improving language learning. According to Adams, Morrison and Reedy (1968), computer assisted language learning (CALL) has the potential not only to supervise the language learners' performance in an informal setting, but also to oversee, record, analyze and summarize data about their learning.

Egan (1999) considered computers as a technology which makes learners access genuine language sources in listening, reading, sending emails, taking part in chat room and etc. According to Egan (1999), most commercial computer programs designed for language learning need language learners to do some exercises such as filling blanks, choosing the correct answers, practicing in reading and listening to authentic written and spoken language, producing language by repeating words or sentences, recording their responses, and comparing them to native models.

Technology gives the chance to the learners to access authentic materials which motivate students to learn a second or foreign language. The use of authentic materials in second or foreign language has a long history. Sweet (1899) was one of the first linguists who used authentic texts in his books because of the advantages attached to authentic materials over other materials. According to Taylor (1994), authentic materials are not prepared for language teaching purposes. In contrast, they contain the characteristics of language used by the native speakers. Gilmore (2007) defined authentic language input as the language conveying a real message produced by a real speaker or writer for a real audience.

There are many advantages of authentic materials which make them pedagogically valuable sources of exposure to second or foreign language. Martinez (2002) mentioned a number of advantages for authentic materials. An initial advantage is that authentic language materials provide a wide range of language change of the target language. For example, through listening to authentic songs and stories in the target language, language learners will be able to hear dialectal differences of various countries that speak the target language. Brinton (1991) underscored the point that authentic materials from media can reinforce the direct relationship between the language classroom and the outside world for the students.

Nunan (1999) highlighted the point that authentic language input can be extracted from many different sources including TV and radio broadcasts, recorded conversations, meetings and newspapers. The use of authentic materials extracted from audiovisual programs has been the focus of many studies. For instance, different songs as authentic programs can motivate language learners to learn the language better if they are used besides the lessons to be learned (Schoepp, 2001), different films can improve listening comprehension and motivate language learners (Chapple & Curtis, 2000; Ryan, 1998, Heffernan, 2005; Gebhardt, 2004), TV and radio news utterances as teaching material have proved effective in improving listening comprehension of EFL learners having difficulty in dealing with comprehending news utterances (Brinton & Gaskill, 1987; Baker,1996) and cartoons have proved to engage the attention of the learners and present information in a non-threatening atmosphere (Clark, 2000; Rule & Ague, 2005).

Many researchers have considered the pedagogical values of various audiovisual programs, however, to the best knowledge of the researchers of the present study, almost none of them considered the pedagogical value of documentary films empirically. To fill the potential gap in the literature, the effect of exposure to documentary films with/without English subtitle on listening comprehension of language learners will be scrutinized in the present research. …

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