In the so-called “subtitling countries” viewers are exposed to subtitled foreign films or TV programmes from a very young age. Given that this exposure is regarded to promote language learning, teachers have exploited various kinds of audiovisual material in the FL classroom.
It has also been observed that students of translation attending subtitling courses have improved their linguistic skills. However, only professional subtitling tools have been used and no subtitling software has been designed specifically for language learning - with all the shortcomings this entails.
Advances in Information and Communication Technologies provide new opportunities for the exploitation of subtitling in language teaching and learning, namely the development of a subtitling software for active learning task-based activities. This tool is intended to give learners the chance to use a special version of a professional environment, not for the purposes of training but for its side benefits.
The main focus of Learning via Subtitling is the development of educational material for active foreign language learning based on film subtitling. It aims to cover the exigency for active learning where cultural elements are involved effectively through real-life (simulated) activities and the need for productive use of multimedia not as a nice add-on but as the core of an activity.
A subtitling simulator (LvS) has been designed for educational activities' purposes in language learning. Through this tool and activities, the learner is asked to add subtitles to a film thus engaging in active listening and writing tasks.
The flexibility in the use of LvS is evidenced in that it can be utilized in any real or virtual classroom and within any curriculum, as it does not imply any change in the methodology used. LvS is also adequate for use in autonomous learning environments: the application’s main screen includes a document viewer area, where all the necessary steps for self-study can be provided. Moreover, it may be employed for any number of students, with unlimited choice of video content (film scenes, educational material), for any suitable duration of video segment, student level (beginners, intermediate, advanced), age and interests.
The project is supported by a www portal aiming to provide effective partner communication and dissemination of project results, hosting the software itself, a library of video-clips, exercises and educational activities. Project outcomes will be further promoted through scientific publications and a workshop organized at the end of the project.
Sustainability of results is foreseen to extend far beyond the project's completion, as other universities, language schools, FL teachers' associations, and in general researchers interested on the use of ICT in education will be able to use the produced open-source software platform.
LeVis Project Identity
Socrates Programme, LINGUA 2 (Development of Language Tools and Materials)
(European Commission, DG for Education and Culture)
1 October 2006
Hellenic Open University (HOU)