ESL Undergraduates' Perceptions towards the Role of English Subtitles on Vocabulary Learning

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Shafika Zulaikha Mohd Hashim , Nor Azni Abdul Aziz


Vocabulary seems to be the aspect of language learning that educators often neglect. Vocabulary learning is crucial as it relates to all four language skills, namely writing, reading, speaking, and listening skills. Without a wide vocabulary knowledge, students might not be able to acquire English as their second language efficiently. One of the possible ways for English as a Second Language (ESL) students to enhance vocabulary is by watching movies or shows with English subtitles. There is quite a few previous research proving that ESL learners could acquire new vocabulary from watching subtitled movies, drama series, TV shows and many others. The present study attempts to investigate the perceptions of ESL undergraduates on watching English subtitled movies or shows. It also determines to identify the ESL undergraduates’ perceptions on learning vocabulary through watching English subtitled movies or shows. A total of 132 students participated in this research as respondents. The data was collected using an online adapted survey questionnaire. The results based on the descriptive analysis showed that most students had positive perceptions of learning vocabulary through watching English subtitled movies or shows. It is hoped that the overall findings of this study could benefit stakeholders in the ESL and English as a Foreign Language (EFL) field of study and promote the use of English subtitled movies or shows in the learning of vocabulary.


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