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Online peer-reviewed Journal for Teachers

English for Specific Purposes World (ESP World)

English for Specific Purposes World

ISSN 1682-3257

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Interlingual Subtitling as a Mode of Facilitating Incidental Foreign Language Acquisition

Slavica Čepon

Faculty of Economics, University of Ljubljana




Because there is no study in the existing literature addressing a combination of receptive and productive foreign language (FL) skills via quantitative and qualitative methods, the present article has tried to close this research gap. The study reveals the impact of unassisted video exposure with reversed subtitles-L2 on incidental FL lexis and grammar acquisition, reading-based general comprehension and writing skill. In terms of FL skills, quantitative results indicate that writing skill shows greater acquisition effects than reading-based general comprehension skill. FL grammar was the least impacted upon after video exposure, whereas vocabulary acquisition shows the most beneficial effects. The interviewees’ reflections from in-depth interviews suggest that by exposing native Slovenian speakers to reversed subtitles-L2 optimal conditions for them to lower their cognitive overload were created and that the learners who learned the most in the study were the ones who were adequately predisposed towards FL stimuli to improve their FL performance. Furthermore, video viewing induced lower levels of anxiety compared with normal apprehension in FL class and the feeling of being able to claim responsibility for their own FL learning. These findings echo the outcomes of those studies that reinforced the positive effects of a low affective filter of FL learners, an anxiety-free learning environment and learners' high involvement in an FL stimulus that enables FL input to be internalized in the form of FL intake. Moreover, enhanced performance without any conscious knowledge of the underlying system may be seen as evidence of implicit FL learning.

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