Learning vocabulary through dual-subtitled viewing: the impact of different ILH-based interventions

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4 Citations (Scopus)


With the rise of computer-assisted online learning tools such as the Language Reactor, advanced captioning options such as dual subtitles (i.e. simultaneous display of on-screen texts in the first language and the second/foreign language) have gained much attention. However, little is known about how dual-subtitled viewing may be optimised to foster second/foreign language learning in multimedia learning environments. In this study, I extended Laufer and Hulstijn (Applied Linguistics, 22(1), 1–26, 2001) Involvement Load Hypothesis (ILH) to the context of audiovisual input and examined the effects of dual-subtitled viewing under multiple ILH-based interventions on vocabulary learning. University Chinese-speaking low-intermediate EFL learners (n = 72) were divided into four groups and exposed to dual-subtitled videos with varying ILH-based interventions. Using a counterbalanced 4 × 4 experimental design, I compared learners’ immediate vocabulary gains and retention of target words under four different treatments across four experimental sessions, including interventions featuring an involvement load of 4 (moderate need + search + strong evaluation), an involvement load of 3 (moderate need + search + moderate evaluation), an involvement load of 2 (moderate need + search), and an involvement load of 0 (absence of need, search or evaluation). The approach to data analysis was twofold: between-groups and within-groups. ANOVA results revealed that vocabulary gains were the highest when learners viewed dual-subtitled videos under treatments with higher involvement loads. The article ends with a consideration of practical and theoretical implications for language learning through this form of audiovisual multimedia learning condition.

Original languageEnglish
JournalComputer Assisted Language Learning
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022


  • Audiovisual input
  • English as a Foreign Language (EFL)
  • ILH-based interventions
  • Involvement Load Hypothesis (ILH)
  • dual subtitles
  • vocabulary learning


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