Subtitles in the Second Language Classroom: An experimental study with Norwegian learners of English
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This study has explored the use of subtitles in second language acquisition for Norwegian learners of English. We used participants from the VG1 level in upper secondary school; the experiment had two experimental groups and a control group who watched the same video clip with or without subtitles. We found that subtitles aided comprehension of plot in the initial round of testing in addition to the participants’ vocabulary size, and this was established through the use of a simple comprehension questionnaire. We also tested for long term effects of learning by using a word definition task and a lexical decision task and found that the subtitles were not predictors of performance. The participants’ proficiency level was more important as a predictor, through vocabulary size and input interaction. An experiment with back translation for the Norwegian subtitles showed no signs of priming.