Language Learning with subtitled videos


| Step 1. Find a video on Youtube: | Step 2. Get the lyrics: search Google | Step 3. Create an account at Universal Subtitles | Step 4. Add subtitles to the video | Literature Reviews | Example activity 1: | Example activity 2 Learning Vocabulary of Housing:




Step 1. Find a video on Youtube:

Feliz Navidad by Jose Feliciano[1]


Step 2. Get the lyrics: search Google

Feliz Navidad[2]

Feliz Navidad
Feliz Navidad
Feliz Navidad
Prospero Año y Felicidad.

Feliz Navidad
Feliz Navidad
Feliz Navidad
Prospero Año y Felicidad.

I wanna wish you a Merry Christmas
I wanna wish you a Merry Christmas
I wanna wish you a Merry Christmas
From the bottom of my heart.

Step 3. Create an account at Universal Subtitles

  1. Go to http://universalsubtitles.org[3]
  2. Set up your account or just sign In.

Step 4. Add subtitles to the video

1. Click on Subtitle Videos button.
2. Copy/Paste the YouTube video URL address in the "Subtitle a Video" text box.
3. Click the Begin button.

a.) Typing:
Watch the Youtube video tutorial below first. (Step 1)

4a.) Click on the Subtitle Me button
5a.) Select the original language and the subtitle language
6a.) Type the text of the subtitles. Use the Enter key to type the next line.

b.) Uploading:

4b.) the Upload button.
5b.) select the language of the subtitles and Browse to find the TXT file, then Close. Click on the Subtitle Me button and select the langauge of the video.
Click the Continue button.
6b.) edit the imported text.

7. Syncing: Click on the Syncing button. Watch the Youtube video tutoral below first. (Step 2.)
8. While listening to the song, keep adding each line as appropriate by using the pink button labeled "Tap when next subtitle should appear" or by hitting the down arrow key on your keyboard.
9. Click on the Subtitle Info button. Edit title and description.
10. Reviewing: Click on the "Check your work" button. Double-click any subtitle to edit text. Drag edges in Timeline to adjust time.
11. Click on the Submit your work button. Now you are ready to distribute your video.
12. Select one or more of the options: send an email with the permalink; post to Facebook or Twitter; embed in your site.



Example video: Feliz Navidad with the three tenors[4]



Permalink to this subtitled video:
http://universalsubtitles.org/videos/G08mEuVhUKTX/info/

Literature Reviews

Learning Vocabulary Through Authentic Video And Subtitles (DOC)[5]

The role of subtitles:
Video is capable of facilitating attention, which is the gatekeeper to learning. Transfer between foreign and mother-tongue words strengthens vocabulary retention.
Subtitled authentic video encourages learners to use authentic video material more often by providing instantenious feedback and by generating confidence in learners.
Subtitles enhance vocabulary acquisition, retention and retrieval with the combination of picture, audio and text (cognitive overload). When text is in the mother tongue (standard subtitles), the associations in memory become even stronger and also the beginner learners are able to comprehend more, and advanced learners may discover new vocabulary that would remain unnoticed without the support of subtitles.

Types of subtitles:
  • standard or interlingual - foreign language audio with mother tongue captions
  • bimodal or intralingual - foreign language audio with foreign language subtitles
  • reversed subtitles - mother tongue audio with foreign captions
Learning goals: support to find new words, improve comprehension and spelling, etc.

Benefits: learners become aware of that it is not necessary to have subtitles to understand the video and that it is possible to listen and read at the same time. They also learn how to pay attention to both channels (aural and textual) at the same time and use text as support.

Example activity 1:

Step 1. Watch the video with and without subtitles while parts of audio omitted from the text (fill in the gaps). You can do it in various ways:


  • with-without-with
  • without-with-without
  • with-without
  • without-with
Step 2. Learners take a note of words, sentences that were excluded from the subtitles, then they discuss it in groups
Step 3. Conclude the activity with an oral discussion of learner's self assessment and experience when they watched the video with and without subtitles

Example activity 2 Learning Vocabulary of Housing:

Step 1. Discuss a housing related topic in pairs or groups to refresh related vocabulary, e.g.: design a housing ad for a newspaper
Step 2. Watch video clip with/without subtitles, standard or bimodal. Then discuss the content and list housing related words they heard.
Step 3. Watch the video again and complete the list of words.
Step 4. Role play the video story, or write an essay, etc.

What Makes Finnish Kids So Smart?[6]
Out of 57 countries tested, Finnish teenagers scored the highest. They rarely get half an hour homework, they start school at the age 7 and they watch foreign films with Finnish subtitles. There is no Internet filter at school and no gifted programs. Reading is encouraged at early age with subtitled cartoons.

Watch and learn [7]
Reading literacy goes up in India with subtitled music videos. Newspaper reading increased, school dropouts decreased. Watching subtitled programming 8 hours in six months improved reading more than traditional teaching. South Africa, Pakistan, Afganistan are considering implementing SLS (same language subtitle) in the TV programming.
external image watchandlearn__1284748538_3011.jpg



  1. ^








    YouTube - Jose Feliciano - Feliz Navidad ." YouTube - Broadcast Yourself. . N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Dec. 2010. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMtuVP8Mj4o>.
  2. ^








    LyricsMode.com. "Jose Feliciano - Feliz Navidad Lyrics." Lyrics, Song Lyrics – LyricsMode.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Dec. 2010. http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/j/jose_feliciano/feliz_navidad.html.
  3. ^ Universal Subtitles supports file types of MP4, FLV, webM, OGG on Youtube, BlipTV, UStream, Vimeo, etc.
  4. ^








    xamotica. " YouTube - Feliz Navidad(Los tres Tenores) ." YouTube - Broadcast Yourself. . N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Dec. 2010. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-mGuEkN62M0.
  5. ^








    "TESOL-SPAIN Homepage." TESOL-SPAIN Home Page//. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Dec. 2010. .
  6. ^








    GAMERMAN, ELLEN. "What Makes Finnish Kids So Smart? - WSJ.com." Business News & Financial News - The Wall Street Journal - WSJ.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Dec. 2010. .
  7. ^








    Shah, Riddhi. "Watch and learn - The Boston Globe." Boston.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Dec. 2010. .