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Reading, Comprehension and Listening Skills

Reading, Comprehension and Listening Skills

Blosser (1988) agrees on what B. Neuman says when announcing “a positive relationship between television watching and reading comprehension results for Hispanic students”. In addition, (Koskinnen, Wilson and Gambreel; 1987) finds a significant improvement in word recognition and oral reading for students who watch captioned movies. Rahmatian and Armiun (2011) conduct a study on 44 adult learners split into two groups (“Audio” group and “Video” group), intent which type of document could improve the listening comprehension skill to a greater extent. However, by comparing the average results of the two groups, the final outcomes show that the “Video” group obtained a better result by 6%.

Concerning other skills such as listing and speaking; Terrell (1993) explains that “listing skills gained by using video materials provide the learners with an experience that cannot be gained in traditional classrooms limited to instructors or students’ interactions”.Garza (1991) examines the effects of subtitled movies on a second language learners of a Russian roots. He concludes that watching subtitled movies has a good impact on reading/ listening and comprehension skills of the learners.

Huang and Eskey’s (2000) as well, investigate the impact of watching English subtitled movies on the learners. The study covered an intermediate ESL learners and came to an end that watching movies did not only improve their listening and comprehension skills, but it also improved their general comprehension. Tanriverdi & Yuksel (2009) carry out a study on the effect of watching subtitled movies on incidental vocabulary learning. The study covered 120 college students from a college preparatory school. The outcomes revealed that learners improved their vocabulary skills after watching captioned and non-captioned movies.

Herron, et al., (1995) proclaims that “movies provide language learners with the opportunity to view the social dynamics of communication as native speakers interact in authentic contexts”. Moreover, Pezdek, Lehrer, & Simon (1984) conclude that “ movie fragments contribute to the improvement of the memory and the recovery of information in reading and listening”

Joseph R. Weyers (1999) conducts a study with an authentic soap opera to gauge if it can foster learners’ comprehension and their oral skills; in that respect, he divides his learners into two groups: experimental and controlled group. The experiment was carried on two Spanish classes for 8 weeks at the university of New Mexico. Moreover, students had a pre and a post test. Learners were instructed before viewing each episode about the program. The outcomes of the study indicate that the soap opera is a very beneficial to the learners’ listening comprehension.

Other scholars mention that “learners urge to be more enhanced by using technology in the process of learning the English language. The visual dimension of the videotape is believed to reduce the presence of any confusion more in listening to English native speakers than audio cassettes”. Thus, students will be motivated to learn more. Furthermore, it is notable and inspiring to learn that videos contribute in enhancing listening and written skills, which means that the input and the output of comprehension and production skills are improved in learning a foreign language. (Herron et al., 1995; Weyers, 1999).

Researchers like (Mackey & Ho, 2008) demonstrate that “multimedia tools are more useful than traditional prepared or printed materials. Videos which offer visual, contextual and non- verbal input supply foreign language learners with visual and aural incentives which correct any lack of comprehension resulting from listening alone”. Moreover, these studies prove that videos are highly preferred by the learners for the authenticity they provide. D’Ydewalle and Pavakanun (1996), likely, run a study in which 74 Dutch-speaking high school students in Flanders with no sort of feedback of Spanish language.

These learners were divided into nine groupsr to view different versions of an animated movie that includes Spanish, Dutch or an absent audio channel that includes as well, Spanish, Dutch or a version without subtitles. Instantly, after watching the film, the students were given a test of Spanish vocabulary. The participants who watched the versions containing Spanish subtitles and Dutch audio utter significantly better than the ones who did not. A similar experiment with learners of a secondary school level found a reasonable effect of watching television on grammar and greater effect on vocabulary acquisition (d’Ydewall and Pavakanun, 1997).

Two additional studies reported in (d’Ydewalle et al., 2006) emphasizing ‘the incidental grammar acquisition by watching subtitled television and using Esperanto as a foreign language, did not find a significant result”. Saricoban conducts a study on 42 first grade English Language Teaching (ELT) department students at the University of Mehmet Akif Ersoy in Turkey. His purpose was to find whether watching subtitled cartoons would influence incidental vocabulary acquisition. The learners took pre- and a post-test to ensure the outcomes; then they were randomly put into two groups (subtitle and no-subtitle group). However, the outcomes of the study did not support the assumption that the subtitle group would outperform the no-subtitle group, since there were no significant differences between two groups, but there was significant improvement in both of the groups from pre-test to post-test scores. This progress was based on the presence of the targeted language.

Etemadi (2012) explores the effects of watching subtitled movies on EFL learners’ vocabulary recognition. Forty four senior undergraduate students studying at the Shiraz Islamic Azad University were chosen from two intact classes and two documentary movies were performed; one with English subtitles and the other without subtitles. Both classes watched the two movies in different order. The outcomes revealed that the participants benefit from watching the movies on the comprehension level but not with vocabulary recognition.

Koolstra and Beentjes (1999) split 246 primary school children into three groups. One watched a Dutch-subtitled English language documentary twice, the second group watched that same documentary twice, but without the subtitles, and a third (controlled group) watched a Dutch television program without subtitles. Subsequently, all participants had a vocabulary test of 35 English words that were used in the documentary. The learners who watched the subtitled version performed significantly better in the test than those who watched the non-subtitled version. The second group participants performed significantly better than the (controlled group). The sixth-graders in this study also performed better than the fourth-graders, and the students who watched the subtitled English television programs at home frequently outperformed those with a low or medium frequency of watching subtitled programs.Koolstra, Peeters,

Also Spinhof (2002) have confidence that Dutch and Flemish children are able to pronounce English or American words perfectly-even “slang’ is due to them listening to English-language music, playing computer games, and watching subtitled television., being exposed to an authentic input of a foreign language classes is significant because it is essential to the progress of the learners’ communicative competence (Baltova, 2000, Weyers, 1999).

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