Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Vol.6. No.4 December  2015                                           Pp. 275  –  290

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  The Effect of Subtitling on the Enhancement of EFL Learners’ Listening Comprehension 

Noha Sobhy Ghoneam
Department of English Language and Literature
Faculty of Arts
Minoufia University, Egypt

In Egypt most foreign-language audiovisual materials are viewed in the original audio version with the Arabic subtitles. With the increasing access to audiovisual material, EFL learners are more exposed to oral input in English than ever before. However, what has unfairly remained unresolved is the use of subtitles. Thus, the present study represents an effort to empirically examine the effect of feature movies with and without subtitle on listening comprehension of Egyptian EFL learners. The participants of this study were randomly selected from a larger pool of 180 fourth year students from the Department of English Language, Minoufia University, Egypt. 104 participants were randomly chosen and then randomly assigned to the two experimental groups and the control group. The first experimental group viewed the movie with English subtitles (ESG), the second group viewed the movie with Arabic subtitles (ASG), and the control group viewed the movie without subtitles (WSG). After screening the 14 excerpts from 8 movies, 14 multiple-choice listening comprehension tests were administered in order to evaluate their listening comprehensions. Then, each group was asked to complete a questionnaire in order to know their opinions about the way the movie was presented. In the last session, all participants sat on the listening section from the TOEFL test. The results of the data analysis revealed that for Multiple Choice tests, the subtitles groups outperformed the WSG, and ASG performed better than the ESG; however, on the TOEFL test, the analysis of groups’ performance revealed a better mean score for the ESG compared to other groups.
Keywords: Arabic Subtitles, EFL learners, English subtitles, Language Learning, Listening Comprehension, Movies


Noha Ghoneam, a junior staff member at English language and Literature department, Minoufia
University, Egypt. She is currently a registered MA student at the Department of English
Language and Literature, Cairo University. In 2009, she became a certified instructor at the
Amideast and practice teaching English as a foreign language since then.