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Academic Paper

Title: The effects of captions in teenagers’ multimedia L2 learning
Author: Laurence Lwo
Institution: National Taiwan Ocean University
Author: Michelle Chia-Tzu Lin
Institution: Guei-Shan Junior High School
Linguistic Field: Applied Linguistics; Language Acquisition
Subject Language: Chinese, Mandarin
Abstract: This study aims to explore the impact of different captions on second language (L2) learning in a computer-assisted multimedia context. A quasi-experimental design was adopted, and a total of thirty-two eighth graders selected from a junior high school joined the study. They were systematically assigned into four groups based on their proficiency in English; these groups were shown animations with English narration and one of the following types of caption: no captions (M1), Chinese captions (M2), English captions (M3), and Chinese plus English captions (M4). A multimedia English learning program was conducted; the learning content involved two scientific articles presented on a computer. To track the learning process, data on oral repetition were collected after each sentence or scene was played. A post-test evaluation and a semi-structured interview were conducted immediately after viewing. The results show that the effect of different captions in multimedia L2 learning with respect to vocabulary acquisition and reading comprehension depend on students’ L2 proficiency. With English and Chinese + English captions, learners with low proficiency performed better in learning English relative to those who did not have such captions. Students relied on graphics and animation as an important tool for understanding English sentences.


This article appears IN ReCALL Vol. 24, Issue 2, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .

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