Subtitling for mission accomplishment : an experimental study of the effect of subtitling as a task on listening comprehension for learners of military English for specific purposes

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Fuentes Luque, Adrián
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NATO's military advisory teams mission, especially with respect to the plan to transition full responsibility to the Afghan government in 2014, is now more important than ever. They must improve their knowledge of military specific English terminology and radio communication formats in order to enhance mission success in advising the Afghan security forces. Although the Marshall Center provides excellent training via the "Tactical Communications English" workshop designed for advisory teams, not all members are able to attend this training. Many are left with the same disadvantage: a lack of military specific English terminology. Recent academic research (such as that of Lertola, 2012; Neves, 2004; Sokoli, 2006; Talava'n, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010; Williams and Thorne, 2000) shows positive results with respect to the use of subtitling as a task for language learners to increase language acquisition, specifically the aspects of listening comprehension (Talava'n, ibid.) and vocabulary acquisition (Lertola, ibid.). Thus, the professional task of subtitling could be used as a didactic tool for educational ends in increasing military specific terminology and listening comprehension skills via military radio. The academic research carried out thus far with respect to the use of subtitling as a learner task has showed positive results, the studies have only been conducted within the context of general language learning. The aforementioned studies were conducted in traditional classroom settings, utilizing computer labs to carry out the experiments. No significant study has been carried out utilizing learning management systems, as this study proposes. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to evaluate subtitling as a learner task to improve specialized vocabulary acquisition as well as listening comprehension via military radio communication within the English for Specific Purposes context of "Tactical Communications English" for the military when delivered via a learning management system. A quasi-experimental research design will be utilized to determine the the extent to which subtitling as a learner task can improve vocabulary acquisition and listening comprehension skills within the ESP context of English for the military. Specifically, the quasi-experimental design will be used to test an intervention, in this case the subtitling task.
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Programa de Doctorado en en Lenguas Modernas, Traducción y Español como Lengua Extranjera
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