Animated Cartoons in the Language Classroom: Attitudes and Perceptions of Italian L2 Students
Keywordsanimated cartoons for sla
captions video for sla
italian as a second language
italian language pedagogy
videos for sla
videos with captions
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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EmbargoRelease after 11/02/2020
AbstractSecond Language Acquisition (SLA) researchers seem to agree that compared to traditional textbook-bound second language (L2) instruction, the use of video for pedagogical purposes provides significant enhancements in terms of context, discourse, paralinguistic features, cultural aspects and students’ motivation (Bahrani, 2014; Oddone, 2011; Pilz, 2008; Swaffar & Vlatten, 1997; Verspoor & Hong, 2013). My study explores the pedagogical use of the British preschool educational children’s animated cartoon series Peppa Pig (Davies, 2004) in its Italian-dubbed version as a resource for creating a constructive multimodal environment to enhance listening comprehension skills, vocabulary and grammar acquisition, and to motivate college SLA students of Italian. Informed by Sociocultural (Vygotsky,1978) and the Multiliteracies (New London Group, 1996), theoretical frameworks, the research questions guiding this mixed methods study were: a) How do undergraduate students of Italian perceive the effectiveness of incorporating Italian (dubbed) children’s cartoons in their L2 courses? b) How do the students view the effectiveness of various strategies (e.g. video captions, multiple viewings and class discussions) as pedagogical supports to scaffold the viewings of the cartoons and extend their listening skills and expand their vocabulary? and c) To what extent do students’ L2 proficiency (novice and intermediate) impact their perception of the videos’ usefulness as a means to advance their comprehension of Italian? Both quantitative (a survey) and qualitative data (student written reflections and interviews), acquired throughout a 16-week semester, were analyzed. The data shows that both groups (novice and intermediate) perceived watching the cartoon to be enjoyable and viewed the cartoons as an authentic tool for developing their L2 listening skills. Students especially appreciated the use of same-language captions, and conveyed that multiple viewings and class discussions provided reinforcement to what they had learned in class. While results were less favorable when it came to the development of language production, participants expressed that it introduced them to new vocabulary and to Italian idioms.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Second Language Acquisition & Teaching