Teaching English through movies : ATEM journal
Online ISSN : 2433-1929
Print ISSN : 1342-9914
Lexical Inference With Movies and Their Scripts
Hirosada IWASAKI
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2011 Volume 16 Pages 79-90


This research is composed of two parts. The first part compared three movie-related texts: a) subtitles only, b) scripts with stage directions, and c) their novelized or original texts. The comparison includes such lexical scales as types, tokens, Guiraud index, and Level 1 range based on the JACET 8000 Wordlist. The analysis showed an interesting feature of scripts: usually it is lexically more sophisticated, involving more low-frequency words, than subtitles and novels. This poses a problem for learners because scripts use more sophisticated, therefore more difficult, words. In order to explore the use of scripts in class, the second part of the research showed an experiment carried out to ascertain if learners could guess meanings of low-frequency words with or without a movie clip. The results showed that when a script was used after watching a move, learners were able to guess sophisticated low-frequency words more correctly. Since visual images were already shown to learners, they were able to associate those words more successfully with particular concepts. Therefore, the present research suggests that although a script involves difficult words, it can be positively used after watching a movie possibly as a review exercise to enhance vocabulary.

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© 2011 The Association for Teaching English through Movies
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