Interlingual subtitling for intercultural language education: a case study

Borghetti, C. and Lertola, J. (2014) Interlingual subtitling for intercultural language education: a case study. pp. 423-440. ISSN 14708477 (ISSN)


Interlingual subtitling has been extensively investigated for language learning and teaching purposes in the last decade. However, there is a lack of research into the creation of subtitles as a means of intercultural learning. This article is a first empirical attempt to verify the potential of subtitling for intercultural language education. It reports on a case study carried out at an Irish University with 14 A2/B1-level students of Italian, who attended a subtitling module as a regular part of their language course. The aim of the study was to investigate whether the creation of subtitles can offer language students opportunities for learning in terms of cultural and intercultural awareness development. A multi-method approach was employed to collect data through initial and final questionnaires, interviews with participants, class audio-recordings, teaching forms and notes, and students' interlingual subtitles. Thematic analysis of the collected data was then conducted. Findings confirm that teachers play a major role in enhancing students' cultural and intercultural awareness development fostering class interaction and discussions; however, they also show that the use of subtitling tasks offer conditions in which students can better develop intercultural skills even when teacher mediation is limited.

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