Effects of Captioning Video Clips on Vocabulary Learning Among ESL Learners

Elias Bensalem


This study examines the impact of two captioning types (i.e., on-screen text in the same language as the video) on beginning-level university ESL students’ incidental vocabulary learning. A total of 70 ESL students participated in the study. They watched three English video clips. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three listening treatments. The first group (n = 24) watched fully-captioned video clips; the second group (n = 23) watched the video clips with keyword captions; the control group (n = 23) watched the video clips without captions. All groups completed vocabulary tests in written and oral formats to test their vocabulary word recognition and meaning recall. The results revealed that there were no significant differences between the captioned groups and the non-captioned group on word recognition and translation test scores. Recommendations for various ways of using captions to enhance the vocabulary acquisition of ESL students whose native language has a non-Roman script are included.


Video, Captions, Vocabulary, Multimedia, CALL, ESL.

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