This study examines the effects of listening tasks performed by second-semester learners of Russian. Two video viewing conditions are investigated: traditional, “exposure only” vs. an experimental, “viewing guide” condition. In the control group, learners are watching video episodes from beginning to end; after that they answer comprehension questions. In the experimental group, students are using online Video Guides designed for the present investigation, which include research-based listening tasks performed by the learners during video viewing. The research examines which of the two treatments produces greater comprehension and retention of the videotext as measured by (1) Immediate Recall Protocols (IRPs) written in English and (2) recall, recognition, and application tasks performed in Russian. In addition to objective tests, the researcher investigates participants’ opinions regarding the effectiveness of video viewing under each of these conditions as measured by an Exit Survey.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Videotext: A term coined by Joiner (1990) and currently used in L2 research; it implies that “television and video should be treated by researchers and practitioners as texts which are no less complex than a written text” (p. 54).
“Exposure-Only” Condition: Non-interrupted viewing of a video episode. “Exposure to massive amounts of comprehensible input” is the primary method of L2 teaching in comprehension-based approaches postulated by Krashen (1985).
Video-Driven Course: An organization of instructional materials in which “most of the content of the print materials is related to the content of the video episodes (Van Patten et al., 2004, p. 17).
Simulated Authentic Discourse: According to Geddes and White (1978), two types of authentic discourse may be used in L2 learning: (1) unmodified, which occurs as a genuine act of communication, and (2) simulated, which is produced for pedagogical purposes and exhibits features that have a high probability of occurrence in genuine acts of communication (p. 137). “Nachalo” episodes are treated by this researcher as simulated authentic discourse for the following reasons: actors and actresses are native-speakers, and events take place in Russia.
Immediate Recall Protocol (IRP): A listening comprehension measure in which listeners write down, from memory, what they recall after hearing a text (Lund, 1991).
Foreign Language: The terms “foreign language,” “second language,” “target language,” and “language” are used interchangeably to refer to languages other than English taught as an academic subject.
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