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Impact of keyword caption ratio, language proficiency, and attitude on foreign language listening comprehension

, Capella University, United States

Capella University . Awarded


The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of three keyword caption modes on the listening comprehension of Arab learners of English as a foreign language (N = 90) while viewing authentic video clips. The keyword caption modes contained approximately 10%, 30% or 50% of the words in the video scripts. The participants, divided into three levels (advanced, intermediate, and elementary) according to their English proficiency, watched three different video clips, each of which contained one of the three keyword caption modes. Each participant experienced all three modes and the order in which they were viewed was counterbalanced. Their understanding of the content of the video clips was measured using comprehension tests consisting of gap fill and multiple-choice questions. A questionnaire was administered after the experimental treatment to elicit the participants' perceptions about the usefulness of keyword captioned viewing for helping them understand the content of video clips and for improving their listening comprehension. The analysis of the listening comprehension test scores found evidence of an effect for keyword caption condition at the elementary level of English proficiency. Elementary learners scored significantly higher on the comprehension tests when their listening was assisted by captions containing approximately 50% of the script than when they were assisted by captions containing only approximately 10% of the script. However, no evidence was found of an effect for caption condition at the advanced or intermediate levels. An analysis of the questionnaire responses revealed that participants at all levels prefer to view videos that contain captions and prefer to have captions that contain approximately 30% of the script over those that contain approximately 10% or 50% of the script.


Rooney, K.M. Impact of keyword caption ratio, language proficiency, and attitude on foreign language listening comprehension. Ph.D. thesis, Capella University. Retrieved October 14, 2019 from .

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