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Cartoons and learning English as a foreign language

Urška Pust (2019) Cartoons and learning English as a foreign language. MSc thesis.

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    Animated cartoons are just one type of media that children encounter in their early age. Cartoons can be a source of an everyday entertainment but can also be a source of gaining new information about other cultures and languages. A variety of foreign language programs on TV and the Internet sources enable children to watch cartoons in foreign languages among which English is the most common in Slovenia. Although the majority of children watch the animated cartoons, not all benefit from them regarding language learning achievements. Many studies have shown that there are a number of factors which may influence the language learning from cartoons (text/topic authenticity, register, understanding the content, activities that follow viewing of cartoons etc.). The important factors that influence foreign language learning among others are the students’ first language and the environment. For this reason, we decided to examine potential relationships between watching English cartoons and the English language proficiency in the Slovenian school system. The research has been based on the Slovenian six-graders and focused on the factors that influence foreign language learning through watching the animated cartoons. The results indicated positive correlations between viewing cartoons with the humorous, action or fantasy content and the English language proficiency. Negative correlations were found between watching cartoons with the children’s content and the English language proficiency. There had not been any statist ically significant correlations between watching cartoons made specifically for language learning and the English language proficiency. The reason for that could be found in the NPZ (national knowledge testing) which was used as a measure of knowledge the language, because it is testing literacy in general, however watching animated cartoons has more influence on the listening comprehension. The research indicated that pupils with a higher level of the English language proficiency assessed their understanding of the content in the cartoons they had watched lower in comparison to the pupils with a lower level of the English language proficiency who had assessed their understanding higher. Teachers must be aware that students with a lower level of the English language proficiency usually choose less demanding content (e. g. children’s cartoons). They should try to encourage those pupils to also view cartoons with more demanding content and language register. The future studies have to focus on each factor that influences the language learning specifically (the types of cartoons, the duration of viewing, the difficulty of the content, language comprehension) and explore which types of language comprehension cartoons are the most influential. It should also be examined how to use cartoons in the educational environment and how to teach children critical thinking about cartoons and media in general.

    Item Type: Thesis (MSc thesis)
    Keywords: animated cartoons, foreign language learning, learning English through cartoons
    Number of Pages: 64
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    izr. prof. dr. Karmen PižornMentor
    Link to COBISS: https://plus.si.cobiss.net/opac7/bib/peflj/12374089
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 5676
    Date Deposited: 11 Apr 2019 08:39
    Last Modified: 11 Apr 2019 08:39
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/5676

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