Volume 9, Issue 2
  • ISSN 2352-1805
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1813
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This paper reports on an eye-tracking study investigating the processing and mnemonic retention of reverse subtitles (foreign-language subtitles presented alongside native-language audio) in learners of Italian as a Foreign language (IFL). 26 English native speakers with a CEFR B2+ Italian level watched an English clip with Italian subtitles in two translation conditions, formal similarity (literal transfer) and formal discrepancy (non-literal transfer). Immediately after watching, they answered recognition and recall questions. This study examines memory, attention allocation and the concept of noticing, which was investigated through triangulation of eye tracking, verbatim recognition and explicit reports. Data analysis methods include generalised mixed-effect modelling. Results revealed that reverse subtitles have acquisitional potential for advanced IFL learners, noticing can be probed experimentally, and formal (dis)similarity appears to have some psychological reality in the mind of the learner, being able to affect both recognition and recall. Evidence of novel word learning as well as deepening of existing knowledge emerged from the analyses, supporting the view that reversed subtitles could be more fruitfully exploited in FLL contexts. The paper presents details of the data analyses, discusses them in relation to Second Language Acquisition (SLA) and psycholinguistic concepts, and draws some recommendations based on the findings.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): audiovisual translation; eye tracking; memory; noticing; reverse subtitles
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