The use of subtitled English cartoon movies to support reading comprehension of Chinese elementary school students
Keywords:reading comprehension, prior knowledge, schema, motivation, movie clips for reading
The article provides details of how selected popular cartoon movies clips can be used as an aid to support learners’ reading comprehension at the classroom level in the Chinese elementary school context. The reading input was from both popular American cartoon movies and theme-related target reading texts selected by predetermined criteria. Interactive activities in the reading classes were embedded in eight lesson plans to intrigue students’ intrinsic motivation. Students’ reading comprehension achievement was first assessed by a platform test and reassessed after their completion of eight individual lesson plans. This research program was implemented over an eight-week period spanning four months. There were two classes per month. The participating subjects in this study were from Yang Guang English Training Center in Chengdu, China. They were students in grades 5-6 with at least 4 years of English training prior to the trial of the teaching method. The findings show that the students were positive toward the delivery of the teaching procedure utilizing selected cartoon movies followed by reading comprehension tasks. The students appeared to be motivated with prior knowledge or schema gained from the selected movie clips. Their interest in the provided movie clips led them into interaction with their peers in the reading activities, and in turn apparently supported their reading comprehension performance. The significance of this research lies in the empirical evidence obtained via integration of visual media and printed texts in teaching reading comprehension. Such evidence can generate pedagogic implications for language teachers who wish to create a schema or prior knowledge to facilitate development of reading comprehension in young learners.
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