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Subtitling Matters

New Perspectives on Subtitling and Foreign Language Learning


Elisa Ghia

Drawing on recent theoretical developments in second language acquisition, this book proposes a new approach to the learning of foreign languages through subtitled audiovisual input. Subtitled text is explored as a source of language acquisition, and its dialogue and subtitle components are focused on as sources of linguistic input. The primary focus of the research is subtitling and the impact it can have on learners’ noticing and acquisition of linguistic structures. The concept of translational salience is introduced, a phenomenon that can occur due to an accentuated contrast between L2 dialogue and L1 subtitles. Two experimental studies on the acquisition of English syntax by Italian learners are used to test the role of translational salience in both noticing and L2 learning. The results lead to a definition of salience particular to the audiovisual medium and raise challenging issues in the pedagogic applications of subtitling.


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AdvP Adverb Phrase AP Adjective Phrase DIM Diminutive EFL English as a Foreign Language FEM Feminine INT Interrogative L1 First language L2 Second/foreign language LSWE Corpus: Longman Corpus of Spoken and Written English MASC Masculine NNS Nonnative Speaker NP Noun Phrase NS Native Speaker O Object PP Prepositional Phrase S Subject SL Source Language SLA Second Language Acquisition ST Source Text SUP Superlative TL Target Language TT Target Text xiv Abbreviations V Verb WO Word order Films BILB Bend It Like Beckham EB Erin Brockovich NH Notting Hill SD Sliding Doors SL Secrets & Lies

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