Learning Vocabulary Through Instructional Subtitled Videos

Keywords: Instructional Subtitled Videos, Vocabulary Learning, EFL (English as a Foreign Language), ESA (Engage, Study, and Activate) Model, Meaningful Context, Action Research


This quantitative and qualitative research paper attempts to demonstrate to what extent instructional subtitled videos influence students’ vocabulary learning. The main objective is to know how this visual strategy contributes to increasing students’ new vocabulary power in meaningful contexts. This is an action–research study, which is based on the use of qualitative and quantitative methods. The applied data collection techniques included the following: a) a pre–test, in order to identify students’ difficulties regarding vocabulary, b) three classroom observations in which three lesson plans, based on ESA (Engage, Study, and Activate) Model,  were done;  c) a teacher-researcher’s diary to reflect about students’ performance in the whole implementation process was used, d) a semi-structured interview was designed in order to collect participants’ comments on subtitled videos,  and e) a post-test by measuring students’ vocabulary knowledge for language improvement.

The analysis of the data showed that the use of instructional subtitled videos helped students to learn vocabulary. The intervention stage helped participants to perform better on the post-test than the pre-test. The target words were contextualized and presented through the combination of sounds, images, and text, simultaneously. The data also showed that the participants considered that the videos were useful to remember the new words and to use them in meaningful communicative contexts. After discussing the findings of the study in the light of the theory, its implications and limitations, as well as some considerations for further research, were presented.

Author Biographies

Jorge Luis Romero-Villamil, Universidad del Tolima, Colombia

is a Teacher and researcher at José Celestino Mutis School. He   holds a Master degree in English Didactics and a BA in Modern Languages from Universidad del Tolima. He has been teaching English for over 20 years. His research interests include Foreign Language Didactics and English Learning Vocabulary.


Claudia Patricia Guzman-Martinez, Universidad del Tolima, Colombia

holds a Master degree in English Didactics from Universidad del Tolima. He holds a BA in Plastic Art from Universidad del Tolima. She is an English teacher at La Aguadita school in state of Tolima, Colombia.  She studied Bilingual and Computer Secretary at Instituto Meyer in Bogota. Her research interests encompass Didactics of Pedagogy, and Innovation in Education.


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How to Cite
Romero-Villamil, J. L., & Guzman-Martinez, C. P. (2020). Learning Vocabulary Through Instructional Subtitled Videos. GIST – Education and Learning Research Journal, 21, 7-25. https://doi.org/10.26817/16925777.841
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