The effects of partial captions on Korean EFL learners' listening comprehension
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This study investigates how Korean learners of English (N =89) comprehend aurally authentic video clips with three modes of captions, partial-, full-, and no-caption modes. The participants, divided into three groups (aboveintermediate, intermediate, and below intermediate) based on their English proficiency, watched six video clips with different caption modes. Prior to the experiments, all of them took TOEFL listening comprehension test and selfevaluated their English proficiency, the results of which were used to assign them to proficiency groups. Three types of listening comprehension tests (gap-filling on a summary, multiple-choice comprehension questions, and listening word recognition test) were presented to them following the video viewing session to check their listening comprehension. Questionnaires were administered before and after the experiments to elicit their belief and response toward the use of partial and full captions for improving listening comprehension. Results showed that the participants of the three groups produced their best comprehension scores under the full caption mode followed by a partial caption mode and a no caption mode. Only Group 1 (the above-intermediate EFL learners) showed no statistical significance between the scores under a partial caption mode and those under a full caption mode. The post-questionnaire analysis revealed that the majority of the participants in Group 2 (the intermediate EFL learners) and Group 3 (the belowintermediate EFL learners) found the partially captioned video most disturbing while the majority in Group 1 enjoyed the benefits of partial captions. The study, based upon the outcomes of the experiments and the questionnaires, supports the use of partial captions as being as effective as full captions only for the more advanced EFL learners.