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The Effects Of Using Cartoon Videos

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Language
Wordcount: 3625 words Published: 19th May 2017

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Using multimedia is more and more useful in teaching and it has been applied as teaching materials for language teacher. Audiovisual method helps language learners not only understand what they hear but also improve their vocabulary, pronunciation. To encourage the development students’ listening comprehension, audiovisual materials with subtitles were supposed a powerful pedagogical tool which can help improve the vocabulary learning of second-language learners by Fazilatfar, Ghorbani & L. Samavarchi (2011). The main purpose this paper investigates teaching method of using audiovisual material as cartoon videos with subtitles and this paper is a survey to get results of the effect of using cartoon videos with Vietnamese subtitles to develop English listening skill of first years students at Quang Trung technical college in Vietnam, who are fifty students of low-level of English.


In recent years, the variety of educational technology offers language teachers more opportunities when they select materials as multimedia or electronic to teach students the target language in the classroom (Shiao-Ling Tsai, 2011). Cartoon videos with subtitles are kind of useful and important audiovisual materials in teaching/ learning the second language. Also, cartoons have supposed a potentially valuable contribution in teaching by Van Wyk (2011) and they have visually impacted all students immediately without discrimination of age or background, are able to respond in some way to the educational point being made. Indeed, Cartoon videos with subtitles are kind of useful and important audiovisual materials in teaching/ learning the second language.

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Using educational cartoon videos with subtitles can attract students’ attention, so develop the students’ motivation on listening skill and effect of vocabulary acquisition on listening skill. The purpose of listening comprehension, the student must understand what good listening comprehension entails and understand meaning of the dialogue, so vocabulary learning was often consider to be of paramount importance (Taiwei Wu, 2008). To understand the importance of subtitle towards vocabulary acquisition and improve listening skill through watching cartoon videos/ audiovisual materials, many teachers help students how to get that. In a research of a group of authors as Abdolmajid Hayati and Firooz Mohmedi (2011) expressed that acquisition of various types of language properties may be acquired by watching subtitled television programs, which may use to be improvement in the ability to discern separate words in the flow of spoken language, word pronunciation, and proficiency in constructing correct sentences. However, in the other line this group of researches has also supposed more and more English a foreign language (EFL) teacher have begun to use movies in their classes at different levels. But the teachers of English Were sometimes in a dilemma whether they should show a ¬lm with or without subtitles and in what language and, above all, which way will bene¬t their students most in relation to listening comprehension. This means that the vocabulary plays role as language subtitles are very important in development of listening skill.

Many researchers have ever carried out on audiovisual materials/ cartoon videos with subtitles on listening comprehension/ listening skill of language learners and many important finding have figured out. However, with the latest researches that can relate much with this research paper, and they were found strong points to inherit and weak points to study for the best knowledge of this paper for contexts of language students in Vietnam. Also, the researcher of this paper takes up the issues and conducts study in order to determine the role of Vietnamese subtitles in language learning and teaching for low-level of first students at Quang Trung technical college. In other words, the aim of study would like to find out what of method is likely to be more effective in developing English listening skill for low-level students. With relevant articles, which researcher of this paper found out to answer the following sub-research questions?

What are the effects of cartoon videos with Vietnamese subtitles on vocabulary acquisition?

How can the language teachers use cartoon videos with subtitles effectually in teaching English listening comprehension?


Many researchers have ever studied about many aspects of audiovisual material on listening comprehension/ listening skill. However, among these, the researcher of this paper find out some researches that relevant to the effect of subtitling on vocabulary acquisition and the support of subtitle on listening skill through watching cartoon videos.

The subtitles effect on vocabulary acquisition.

In the research of Shiao-Ling Tsai (2011), He recruited participants as 65 children of Taiwanese fifth graders from 2 classes at elementary school in Tai Chung. All of them have learned English for two years at least and have been taught by the same English teacher at school during research. The participants were divided into 2 groups with one English-subtitle watching the English cartoon videos with English subtitle and one non-subtitle watching the English cartoon videos without English subtitles for 20 minutes each lesson. After three-month course ended up, the post-test was conducted to test the students’ English listening comprehension with following interview results :” While viewing the video, 50% of students of the English-subtitle group and 90% of the students of the non-subtitle group worried that they may not understand what the characters said. 80% of the students of English-subtitle group and 90% the students of the non-subtitle group said they paid attention when they viewed the video. 70% of the students of the English-subtitle group and also 70% of the students of the non-subtitle group thought that they may not understand the content of the video without Chinese subtitle. 70% of students of the English-subtitle group and 100% of the students of non-subtitle group responded they guessed the meanings when they did not understand what the characters said”. Besides, Shiao-Ling Tsai remarked that most of the English-subtitle group students were excited while they watched the videos and learning attitude seemed better than that of the non-subtitle group.

In summary, from the research of Shiao-Ling Tsai, there was the effect of vocabulary acquisition in watching cartoon videos through using subtitles or not subtitles. Understanding the content of cartoon videos or not which is criticized by cartoon videos with subtitles. Those mean that vocabulary acquisition to be provided through cartoon videos.

In addition, one more evidence which persuaded that the subtitles effected on vocabulary acquisition. In the research of Fazilatfar, Ghorbani and Samivarchi (2010),”The effect of standard and reversed subtitling versus no subtitling mode on L2 vocabulary learning”, the researchers of this study writing had found vocabulary scores of participants who watched the movie in subtitling condition were higher than without subtitles. The researchers of this study carried out studying with 100 Iranian EFL learners, who had studied English as a compulsory course during their junior high school and high school. Moreover, they were enrolled at a private English center called Oxford institute presently and also had finish the Intro level of Interchange Third Edition series and had started the Interchange 1 level. Then, the5-minute-long episode of an animated cartoon was selected for the experiment with following three groups: “Group A (non-subtitling) included those participants who watched the movie with original sound track and without the subtitles, Group B (standard subtitling) watched the movie in a foreign language (English) in sound track and native language (Persian) in subtitles, and Group C (reversed subtitling) watched the movie with foreign language (English) in subtitles and native language (Persian) in sound track”. After watching, the test results of the tests administered were analyzed by three form tests namely 1.form recognition, 2.meaning translation, and 3.multiple-choice. With the form recognition test, “scores in the reversed subtitled (C) condition were higher than in the standard subtitled condition (B), and scores those in the standard subtitled condition (B) were relatively higher than in the non-subtitled condition (A)”; with meaning translation test, the results were suggested that “the participants in the reversed subtitled condition (C) outperformed those in the standard subtitled condition (B), and the participants in the standard subtitled condition (B) outperformed those in the non-subtitled condition (A)”. Finally, with multiple-choice test indicated that: “lexical gains in the reversed subtitled condition (C) were higher than those in the standard subtitled condition (B), and lexical gains in the standard subtitled condition (B) were higher than those in the non-subtitled condition (A)”

One study by Abdolmajid and Firooz (2011) focused on 90 students with the average age 22, who were chosen from a group of 200 juniors and seniors majoring in Teaching English as a Foreign Language on the basis of their scores on the English language pro¬ciency test at Islamic Azad University of Masjed Soleyman in south west of Iran. They were divided into three groups randomly to watch film with English Subtitle Group (ESG), Persian Subtitle Group (PSG) and Without Subtitle Group (WSG). After 6 weeks researchers of this writing conducted experimental research, results hade collected from a multiple-choice comprehension test in each section of day, which was administered in order to evaluate their listening comprehension and provide grounds for comparison. Besides, results had been also collected by the final test of viewpoints about the effect of subtitled and/or non-subtitled ¬lms. By score results, researchers of this writing supposed that students had learned not only vocabulary through the English videos with English subtitles but also getting more benefit through English videos subtitled in Persian.

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On the whole, the researchers were found above, which refer for this writing the cartoons videos with subtitles effect on vocabulary acquisition. The research papers forwarded videos with subtitles or without subtitles, and subtitles in the first language (L1) or the second language (English-L2). The researcher of these writings recognized that the effects of videos with subtitles are not only on listening comprehension but also on vocabulary acquisition by their subtitles. Such as in the research “The effects of viewing subtitles of English cartoon videos on Taiwanese fifth graders’ English listening comprehension” was written by Shiao-Ling Tsai (2011), Chinese subtitles in English cartoon video also help students in listening comprehension and reminiscence vocabulary. Besides, English videos with Persian subtitles (Fazilatfar, Ghorbani and Samivarchi , 2010) help students to understand meaning vocabulary and improve listening comprehension better , this is consistent with the consideration by Abdolmajid and Firooz (2011). From these reasonable considerations, the researcher of this paper judges that cartoon videos with Vietnamese subtitles effect on vocabulary positively with students of low-level English in Vietnam.

Cartoon videos with subtitles are used effectually in teaching English listening comprehension.

The use of cartoon videos with subtitles appropriately with context/ circumstance and object of learners is much benefit in teaching listening comprehension. Language teachers are suggested to consider the benefit of using captions when teaching listening skills through video viewing (Jing-mei Chung, 1999), which could not only make comprehension of authentic video less difficult and encourage conscious language learning but also increase students’ interest in maintaining or increasing their knowledge of the target language by promoting new lexicon in a appropriate context. Moreover, the video programmes with English subtitles would motivate students to improve their listening comprehension more than other programmes but watching a film with L1 subtitles, which made them understand the film better was claimed to be suitable for beginners because of the limited rang of vocabulary items Abdolmajid Hayati and Firooz Mohmedi (2011).

The suitability of context with object of learners as children was through research of Shiao-Ling Tsai (2011). In this study, Taiwanese fifth graders were chosen to research about the effects of viewing subtitles of English cartoon videos on listening comprehension. And the kind of English cartoon videos were not only suitable and interesting videos for children as “The Ant Bully”, “The Wild”, “Valiant”, “The Incredibles”, and “Flushed” but also educational morals of contents. Subtitles and vocabulary were simple because of suitable cartoon videos styles that made language learners, as children seem to be motivate and interesting in watching. However, the results had acquired on listening comprehension through watching cartoon videos with subtitles and without that was difference. On the contrary, Paul Markham (1999), he chose participants who were advanced, uni- versity-level ESL students participated in the study. They were intensive English language students who represented fifteen different first language backgrounds. With 2 two excerpts from educational television programs as “whales” and “civil rights”, but both of them were approximately of equal difficulty and the syntactic complexity of the captions. Thus, to use of cartoon videos in suitable object of learners and context on listening comprehension, this is important for teaching language.

In addition, In a study of Jing-mei Chung (1999), the research was carried out to study on 183, 17 to 19 year-old, 4th year non-English major students of technology school, in Taiwan. With the circumstance, these students were chosen in the random circumstance and in low-intermediate of English proficiency. Besides, the training of their English listening was neglected in long time, and the students’ environment is surrounded by mother tongue. The two episodes were chosen to view which was one of school material videos caption, “Family Album, U.S.A.: Book I,” is Basic English and improvement of learners. Jing-mei Chung collected the results from “multiple-choice test” and “open-ended attitude questionnaire” and considered that most students mentioned video captions in the target language and in their mother language. And he also judged caption in target language making propitious condition for students’ listening comprehension. However, using video captions in the circumstance of crowded students and irregular English listening are not very effectively.

The method of Researches and research findings

The latest researcher used many ways in their research methods in order to find out the best findings in teaching Language listening comprehension through videos with caption/subtitles or cartoon videos with subtitles. The first, in the study about the effect of applying two techniques to video viewing of Jing mei Chung (1999) who used “Multiple-choice test” and survey “Open-Ended attitude questionnaire” in his researcher to analyze so that he brought out findings of using advance organizers and captions. And these findings were suggest to do benefit more than using one technique only in teaching listening comprehension for students. The second, by analysis of results with quantitative and interview method through the research “The effects of captioning videos used for foreign language listening activity” of Paula, Susan, & Tetyana (2010), which they researched on 150 foreign language learners from a large Midwestern university in the USA with 2 times of watching videos (with no captioning and with captioning). The finding, which they found out to be listening twice to a video, could reduce listeners’ anxiety, activate selective and global listening strategies, and promote automaticity in processing of listening. The third, Abdolmajid Hayati and Firooz Mohmedi (2011) used “Multiple-choice tests” only to evaluate the results through a pilot study with 90 Iranian students who were at average age 22, studying Islamic Azad University of Masjed Soleyman. Based on results of score of 3 groups (English Subtitle Group, Persian Subtitle Group, Without Subtitle Group) after watching a documentary film, which help them to find out the finding for research title: “The effect of ¬lms with and without subtitles on listening comprehension of EFL learners”. The results demonstrated that students’ listening comprehension would improve through video programmes with English subtitles more than the other programmes. But because of students’ limited range of vocabulary items, watching a film with the mother tongue language was supposed to be suitable for beginning learners.

To summarize, in order that the English learners develop listening comprehension for language learners in Vietnam better, various strategies of teaching and learning through subtitled materials need to be chosen appropriately, such as English cartoon videos with Vietnamese subtitles will create learners more easily understanding of content than without subtitles. Moreover, watching L1 subtitling videos/ L1 subtitling cartoon video may help student acquire vocabulary or improve English words easily, this is suitable with English learners in Vietnam, specially, for elementary English level of learners.

Limitation of the latest researches and appropriateness for the context of language learners in Vietnam

The purpose of this research paper is finding out the effects of audiovisual materials such as cartoon videos with subtitles on development of listening comprehension for the second language learners (English language learners), and limitation of research contexts or research materials and research of relevant researches that suggest whether they will be appropriate application with this paper or not. In one study of the use cartoons with subtitles so that teaching vocabulary (Fazilatfar, Ghorbani and Samivarchi, 2010), which researchers made a pilot study of watching cartoon videos in three conditions: without subtitles, English dialogues with Persian subtitles and Parisian dialogues with English subtitles. These researchers only paid attention to vocabulary acquisition through subtitling-video, without mention listening comprehension, though achievement of listening comprehension. Additionally, learning through cartoon videos with subtitle to develop one field of English for specific such as English listening comprehension of economics of Van Wyk (2011), he only mentioned that how the videos with subtitles helped major students of economy had the best way of comprehension about the context of nation’s economy. Perhaps this method should use for teaching specific English. Besides, using educational cartoon videos with subtitles about animals in development of listening comprehension (Shiao-Ling Tsai, 2011; Paula, Susan, & Tetyana (2010), vocabulary acquisition and their contents were limited for one subject matter as animals, thus listening comprehension did not uphold to other subject matter, such as communicate English.

Circumstances of language students of Quang Trung technical college are low-level of communicate English. English is not supposed important in students’ thought in their future, so they do not have much motivation to study but that is not judicious awareness because English is an international language that becomes indispensability for everyone. Moreover, their English, which they were taught in secondary schools and high schools before was Basic English with writing and reading comprehension better than listening and speaking comprehension. So their listening comprehension is rated weakly. With the purpose of development listening comprehension, the research of this paper would like to use English cartoon videos with Vietnamese subtitles to help them study better. Therefore, the research methods are relevant above, which may help the writer of this paper in references of appropriate findings for writing paper of methodology.


In conclusion, many researchers studied about the effects of videos with subtitles on listening comprehension of second language learners and they have also come up important findings that help teaching methods of language teachers better in the epoch, which English is international language. By the reference of relevant researches, the researcher of this paper summarized some of findings of the latest researchers in order to approach those findings in bringing into play of research method. However, for object students study communicate English, who are at the age of 16 to 22 year-old, selecting of kind of appropriate cartoon videos with Vietnamese subtitles and time length of viewing so that conduction is good for findings in methodology of this research paper.


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