Stuart Webb Talk

September 30, 2016 @ 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm
CeLTA Signature Series Talk, B342 Wells Hall
619 Red Cedar Rd
Okemos, MI 48864
Center for Language Teaching Advancement


CeLTA Signature Series Talk: “The potential for learning vocabulary through watching L2 television” by Dr. Stuart Webb

There are many studies that have shown that L1 and L2 words can be learned incidentally through reading (e.g., Nagy, Herman, & Anderson, 1985; Waring & Takaki, 2003). Research has also shown that L1 and L2 vocabulary can be learned incidentally through listening (e.g., Elley, 1989; van Zeeland & Schmitt, 2013). Several studies have investigated second language (L2) incidental vocabulary learning through watching videos (e.g. Sydorenko, 2010; Winke, Gass, & Sydorenko, 2010).   However, the videos used in most studies have been relatively short, and included a variety of learner-centered video genres such as lectures and educational series. This research is valuable as it provides evidence that L2 incidental vocabulary learning can occur through watching video. However, it is unclear whether full-length television programs, which are perhaps the most likely type of video to be watched by L2 learners, contribute to incidental vocabulary learning. In this talk I will discuss two recent studies that have investigated the extent to which L2 words might be learned through watching a full length BBC documentary (Peters & Webb, in preparation) and watching 10 episodes of a television program (Rodgers & Webb, under review). The pedagogical and research implications of the findings will be discussed in detail.

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