Effects from using subtitled audiovisual material in second language acquisition : an experimental study in a second language classroom in Norway
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The aim of this master’s thesis is to investigate potential long-term effects in second language acquisition from using subtitled audiovisual material as authentic second language input. Over a period of two weeks, 24 Norwegian 16-year-olds watched four episodes of the animated cartoon series Family Guy with English as the source language. The participants were divided into three groups where one group watched with native language (Norwegian) subtitles, one group watched with target language (English) subtitles, and one control group watched without subtitles. Six weeks later, they responded to a word-definition task and a word-recall task. The results indicate that only the group that watched with English subtitles experienced long-term effects. However, the analysis of the results also showed that other significant factors predicted the participants’ performance in the post-stimuli tasks, most notably vocabulary proficiency. The approach of the study was quantitative and experimental.