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Subtitling and language learning
Start date: Nov 1, 2009,

Can we learn a foreign language (FL) while watching TV? Countries such as Finland and Portugal, both with a less used language and subtitling as a dominant mode of audiovisual translation, have different perceptions and results in language learning (LL).EuroBarometer surveys (2000, 2005, 2006) give indications of the capacity of Europeans to speak FL. Learning methods, by watching TV or listening to radio (9%), are only cited by a small number. To the question on preference for watching a film or foreign TV programmes subtitled rather than dubbed, the responses are clearly in favour of dubbing.However, certain institutions and associations continue to claim that subtitles could play a major role in FL learning: the Commission (“Promoting language learning and linguistic diversity: 2004-2006”, “A new framework strategy for Multilingualism”); the European Parliament (2007); the Polish Ministry of Education (2008); the Finnish Association of Language Teachers (2007); the World Bank supporting the Same Language Subtitling project (started in 1996) in India to promote mass literacy.The supposed importance of subtitles in LL still needs to be studied empirically. It has inspired projects but most of them have been short in duration, with very restricted groups of second language learners. (cf. Part F)We are proposing a longitudinal project, with three main studies, at the European level, with several languages and not only a pair of languages, and regarding different types of learners (young pupils, students, migrants) in different learning situations.We expect the following outputs- To identify, further develop and disseminate information on good practice and innovation relating to the use of subtitling in LL- To promote co-operation and exchange in Europe between all stakeholders connected with the use of subtitling in LL- To help Europe to develop policies promoting LL at different levels of formal and non formal education through the use of subtitling for LL.

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