Informal English use in the written productions of end-of secondary level EFL students in Tunisia: The case of subtitled American movies and series. (Wiem Saidi, University of Montreal, Canada & Boutheina Lassadi, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences of Tunis, Tunisia)
Wiem Saidi, University of Montreal, Canada & Boutheina Lassadi, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences of Tunis, Tunisia
Title: Informal English use in the written productions of end-of secondary level EFL students in Tunisia: The case of subtitled American movies and series.
Keywords: Audio-visuals; informal English; formal English; written compositions
Numerous studies underscore the language learning potential of audio-visuals (D’Ydewalle, 2002; Karakas & Sariçoban, 2012; Sabani, & Zanoussi, 2015; Wang, 2012; Wilson, 2000). In applied terms, some researchers such as Cakir (2006) also highlight the instructional qualities of audio-visuals and contend for their integration in the language learning classroom. More specifically, watching movies was linked to the development of learners’ writing skills (Sayer, 2004). This study, therefore, investigates the extent to which subtitled audio-visuals contribute to the English language learning of end-of secondary level EFL students in Tunisia. It also explores the extent to which and in what way subtitled audio-visuals influence students’ academic writing. Participants were 35 Tunisian end-of secondary level EFL students. A questionnaire was issued in order to gauge the extent to which participants learned English by means of watching subtitled audio-visuals in comparison with other popular classic language learning tools. A discourse analysis of 35 written compositions was conducted that traced, extracted and quantified the amount of informal English that characterises movies and is concurrently used in written productions. The results were descriptively analysed in search for a pattern between survey answers and discourse analysis. The survey concluded that almost half of the sample relies more on movies and series for language learning than any other classic language learning tool. Concretely, the influence of audio-visuals is conspicuous in the use of informal English in written productions. The discourse analysis reveals informal English use that ranges from 2 to 83 instances. Observed patterns revealed that students who watched more movies were able to produce longer written productions that integrated more informal English and vice versa.