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Southern African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies

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Exposure to audiovisual programs as sources of authentic language input and second language acquisition in informal settings

Taher Bahrani, Shu Sim Tam

Abstract


Nowadays, various audiovisual technologies are developing by sharing and showing a variety of programs which can offer many possibilities for teachers to utilise different programs as sources of authentic language input in order to construct activities for enhancing language learning. Accordingly, the aim of the present article was to provide empirical evidence on the effectiveness of exposure to various audiovisual programs in informal settings on the language proficiency of language learners with different levels of language proficiency. To this end, 75 language learners majoring in TESL were assigned to three language proficiency levels based on their scores on an IELTS pretest: low (n = 25), intermediate (n = 25), and upper-intermediate (n = 25) levels. During the study all the participants were asked to keep track of the amount and type of exposure to their preferred audiovisual program(s) in informal settings through the use of a self-report sheet. At the end of the study, a second IELTS test was administered to all the participants to determine whether such exposure to audiovisual programs could improve the language proficiency of the language learners, and if so, which proficiency level group benefitted the most. The results of the posttest indicated that intermediate and upper-intermediate language learners showed greater improvement in their language proficiency. The data obtained from the self-report sheets also indicated that the intermediate and upper-intermediate participants had more exposure to news broadcast and movies than other audiovisual programs. The findings of the present research contribute more insights on the type and amount of exposure to the various audiovisual programs as sources of language input to develop SLA in both EFL and ESL contexts. Also, the present study reveals that the choice of authentic audiovisual input seems to have a more significant impact on language development compared to the amount of exposure.

Southern African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies 2012, 30(3): 347–359



http://dx.doi.org/10.2989/16073614.2012.739329
AJOL African Journals Online