The Effects of Film Subtitles on English Listening Comprehension and Vocabulary

Supakorn Napikul, Payung Cedar, Dusadee Roongrattanakool


An attempt of this study was to find out which type of subtitles is likely to be more effective in developing EFL tenth-grade students’ listening comprehension and vocabulary of a feature film: bimodal subtitling (English subtitles with English dialogues), standard subtitling (Thai subtitles with English dialogues), and English dialogues without subtitles. The data of this study was elicited from three groups of students in tenth-grade, 21 students per group, with similar English learning achievement level. Students in each group were assigned to watch an English dialogue movie with assigned subtitles, one type of subtitles per one group. They were tested on listening comprehension, content and vocabulary after they finished watching the movie. After all the students had finished taking the test, four persons from each group were randomly selected to be interviewed. The findings showed that Thai subtitles affect tenth-grade students’ listening comprehension more than English subtitles and not having any subtitles at all. The average scores for content and vocabulary showed that Thai subtitles affect students’ listening comprehension of content and vocabulary more than English subtitles and having no subtitles whatsoever.


Listening Comprehension, Subtitles, Movie

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