Edited by Stuart Webb
[ITL - International Journal of Applied Linguistics 169:1] 2018
► pp. 142–168
The effect of out-of-class exposure to English language media on learners’ vocabulary knowledge
The aim of this study is to investigate (1) how often Flemish English-as-a-foreign language learners are exposed to English language media outside of the classroom, (2) whether current out-of-class exposure to English language media is related to learners’ vocabulary knowledge, and (3) whether length of instruction (three or six years), gender, and out-of-class exposure to English language media affect Flemish learners’ vocabulary. Data were collected with 79 English-as-a-foreign language learners. They were administered a frequency-based vocabulary test and a questionnaire. The findings of this study show that Flemish English-as-a-foreign language learners are frequently exposed to English language media. The results also indicate a positive relationship between learners’ vocabulary knowledge and exposure to non-subtitled TV programs and movies, the Internet, and written print (books, magazines). Finally, both length of instruction and current out-of-class exposure to English language media had an effect on learners’ vocabulary knowledge, but out-of-class exposure had a larger effect than length of instruction.
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