Learning L2 Vocabulary with American TV Drama From the Learner’s Perspective

Yu-Chia Wang


Following the trend of computer assisted language learning (CALL), in Taiwan, most language classes now have equivalent media support for language teachers and learners. Implementing videos into classroom activities is one of the choices. The current study explores the process of implementing American TV drama in L2 vocabulary learning from learners’ perspectives. Twenty-eight Taiwanese EFL adult learners participate in the study. Authentic video clips from three different American dramas- “How I met your mother”, “The King of Queens”, and “Reba” are adopted. After three sessions of class activities including clip watching, class discussion, word listing, etc., students complete a 4-likert scale questionnaire and are individually interviewed by the researcher to give their opinions. The results reveal positive comments on the facilitative role of TV drama in learning new vocabulary as previous studies suggested, but learners’ comments point out some crucial factors while learning L2 vocabulary with TV drama. First of all, the interest level and the familiarity of the content is an important factor. In addition, the images, subtitles and repetition help participants to “remember” the target words. Other factors such as the authenticity of the language, the contextual meaning of the words, and the dramatic performances all contribute to the learning of the L2 vocabulary. In the end of the study, working memory system, the context, acquisition-learning hypothesis (Krashen, 1981), and noticing hypothesis (Schmidt, 1990) are further discussed. 

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5539/elt.v5n8p217

English Language Teaching       ISSN 1916-4742 (Print)   ISSN  1916-4750 (Online)

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