The Effectiveness of Using Subtitled Video to Teach Grammar

Mohammed, Rania
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Research Projects
Organizational Units
Organizational Unit
Journal Issue

This study explored the effect of subtitled videos on grammar learning in an intermediate level ESL grammar classroom at a large state university in the U.S. Midwest. This classroom-based research makes use of the noticing hypothesis (Schmidt, 1990) to investigate the effect of using enhanced subtitles and input flooding of a specific grammatical structure, the past perfect form, on learning. The study also looked at nine participants' attitudes and their opinions on using videos to learn grammar. An immediate noticing activity was used to reveal if students noticed the enhanced past perfect forms from the video subtitles while a pretest and post-test was used to examine if students demonstrated a gain in knowledge of the usage of the form.

Results show that the first time the noticing activity was administered only 3 out of 9 students noticed fewer than 3 words out of the 7 subtitled words. In the second time the same activity was administered 5 students were able to notice some of the words with an average of 3 words being noticed. Pre-test and post-test results show that there was a gain in grammatical knowledge with an average of 58.3 % hence the subtitled video helped learners learn the target structure. However, the students were not just exposed to implicit instruction by watching the subtitled video during the two class periods. They also received explicit instruction on when and how to use the form through using an animated cartoon before watching the subtitled video. Overall, students interacted together as they worked within their groups to complete tasks with minimal student-teacher interaction. Findings of the questionnaire and debriefing session showed that the students had a positive attitude towards this grammar teaching approach while some students expressed some concerns. Overall, explicit instruction and implicit instruction through watching the enhanced subtitled video helped students better understand the context that a specific grammatical structure was used.

grammar, input enhancement, input flooding, noticing, video subtitles