4 巻 (1998) p. 27-46
"Function" is defined as the purpose for which language is used, for instance, to express anger, to invite, or to greet. It is assumed that functions are conveyed through not only linguistic information but also non-linguistic information, including kinesic and paralinguistic features. Movies, through auditory and visual channels, can be considered to be an effective tool to provide this kind of functional information. By adding English captions on the screen, functional information is presented in a three-media condition: sound, pictures, and captions. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of each medium or combination of media in understanding the different types of functions for EFL learners at different proficiency levels. A function test which consisted of 40 multiple choice questions was conducted, in 4 different conditions (sound, pictures, sound+pictures, and sound+pictures+captions), to 271 college students divided into higher and lower proficiency groups. The following results were obtained: the lower group benefited more from pictures; the higher group mostly used sound input to identify the functions, and, depending on the type of the function, also gleaned some clues from the pictures. The outcome of our study indicates that different proficiency groups have different information-processing patterns in their comprehension of functions.