The Arabic Subtitles And the Language Acquisition Of Non-Native Learners Of Arabic In The Saudi Universities/ الترجمة المرئية وأثرها على اكتساب اللغة العربية للناطقين بغيرها في الجامعات السعودية

Abdulfattah Omar, Waheed Altohami


Despite the increasing interest in investigating the influence of subtitles on the acquisition of second languages, including English, French, and Spanish, very little has been done in Arabic. This phenomenon may be attributed to the lack of the use of technological applications in teaching Arabic. So far, different universities have adopted traditional methods in teaching Arabic as a second language. In the face of this limitation, this study explores the impact of Netflix subtitles on improving the language acquisition of Arabic by non-native speakers of Arabic in Saudi universities. Both quantitative and qualitative methods were used for the analysis of the data set in question. The subject of the study, 68 participants from three Saudi universities: Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud Islamic University, Taibah University, and Prince Sattam Bin Abdulaziz University. The participants are in different disciplines, including Islamic Jurisprudence (Shariah), Arabic studies, engineering, and English. They also come from different countries, including Indonesia, Uzbekistan, Malaysia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Results indicate that subtitles can be usefully used to improve Arabic linguistic performance and acquisition by non-native speakers. Subtitles were helpful for the learners of Arabic in both the acquisition of standard and colloquial forms of the language. Saudi universities and other educational institutions are thus recommended to integrate subtitling and language technologies in teaching Arabic as a second language.


Arabic As A Second Language; Language Acquisition; Netflix; Saudi Universities; Subtitles

Full Text:



Aboelezz, M. (2016). A history of the Arabic language and the origin of non-dominant varieties of Arabic.

Abou Shaaban, S. S., & Al Naami, F. M. (2020). The effectiveness of translated English videos into Arabic on enhancing Al-Azhar university English majors' listening comprehension skills. European journal of English language teaching. 5 (3) 31-41

Alabsi, T. (2020). Effects of Adding Subtitles to Video via Apps on Developing EFL Students’ Listening Comprehension. Theory and Practice in Language Studies, 10(10), 1191-1199.

Ayand, F. K., & Shafiee, S. (2016). Effects of English and Persian subtitles on oral fluency and accuracy of intermediate Iranian EFL learners. International Journal of Applied Linguistics and English Literature, 5(3), 133-144.

Azizi, S., & Aziz, A. A. (2020). The effect of intralingual caption on students’ vocabulary learning. International Journal of Advanced Research in Education and Society, 1(3), 12-22.

Becnel, K. (2019). Emerging Technologies in Virtual Learning Environments. Hershey, Pennsylvania: IGI Global.

Bird, S., &Williams, J. N. (2002). The effect of bimodal input on implicit and explicit memory: an investigation of within-language subtitling. Applied Psycholinguistics 23 (4), 509–533.

Birulés-Muntané, J., & Soto-Faraco, S. (2016). Watching subtitled films can help learning foreign languages. PloS one, 11(6), 1-10.

Borrás, I., & Lafayette, R. C. (1994). Effects of multimedia courseware subtitling on the speaking performance of college students of French. The Modern Language Journal, 78(1), 61-75.

Chapelle, C. A. (2003). English Language Learning and Technology: Lectures on applied linguistics in the age of information and communication technology. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Chung, J. (1999). The effects of using video texts supported with advance organizers and captions on Chinese college students’ listening comprehension: An empirical study.Foreign Language Annals, 32(3), 295–308.

Darwish, I., & Ain, N.A. (2020). Foul Language on Arabic Television: A Case Study of the First Edley, N., & Litosseliti, L. (2010). Completing interviews and focus groups. In L. Litosseliti (Ed.), Research Methods in Linguistics (pp. 155-179). London; New York: Continuum. Jordanian Arabic Netflix Series. Academic Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies, 9, 83-83.

Dumlao, K. C. S., Alfonso, R. C., Paguirigan, E. S., & Subia, G. S. (2020). The Efficacy of Bimodal Subtitling in Improving the Listening Comprehension of English as a Second Language (ESL) Learners. International Journal of English Literature and Social Sciences, 5(6), 2196-2201.

Ferguson, C. (1959). Diglossia. Word, 15, 325–340.

Frumuselu, A. D., De Maeyer, S., Donche, V., & Plana, M. D. M. G. C. (2015). Television series inside the EFL classroom: Bridging the gap between teaching and learning informal language through subtitles. Linguistics and Education, 32, 107-117.

Furaidah, A., Ngadiso, N., & Asrori, M. (2016). Watching Video with English Subtitle as an Alternative to Improve Reading Skill. English Education, 7(2), 257-263.

Galle, T. (2020). Designing and using gamification elements to improve students’ user experience in a video-based mobile language learning app.

Gruba, P., & Hinkelman, D. (2012). Blending Technologies in Second Language Classrooms. London; New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Holobow, N., W. E. Lambert & L. Sayegh (1984). Pairing script and dialogue: Combinations that showpromise for second or foreign language acquisition. Language Learning 34.4, 59–74.

Hosogoshi, K. (2016). Effects of Captions and Subtitles on the Listening Process: Insights from EFL Learners' Listening Strategies. JALT CALL Journal, 12(3), 153-178.

Huang, H. C., & Eskey, D. E. (1999–2000), The effects of closed-captioned television on the listening comprehension of intermediate English as a second language (esl) students.Journal of Educational Technology Systems, 28(1), 75–96.

Hwang, P., & Huang, P. (2011). Using Subtitles to Enliven Reading. English Language and Literature Studies, 1(1), 2-6.

Krashen, S. (1988). Second Language Acquisition and Second Language Learning. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

Kruk, M. (2018). Assessing the Effectiveness of Virtual Technologies in Foreign and Second Language Instruction. Hershey, Pennsylvania: IGI Global.

Lambert, W. E. & N. E. Holobow (1984). Combinations of printed script and spoken dialogues that show promise for beginning students of a foreign language. Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science 16.(1),1–11.

Latifi, M., Mobalegh, A., &Mohammadi, E. (2011). Movie subtitles and the improvement of listening comprehension ability: Does it help? The Journal of Language Learning and Teaching, 1(2), 18-29.

Lertola, J. (2012). The effect of the subtitling task on vocabulary learning. Translation research projects, 4, 61-70.

Masrai, A. (2019). Can L2 phonological vocabulary knowledge and listening comprehension be developed through extensive movie viewing? The case of Arab EFL learners. International Journal of Listening, 34(1), 54-69.

Mazid, B. M. (2006) Arabic subtitles on English movies: Some linguistic, ideological and pedagogic issues. International Journal of Arabic-English Studies, 7, 81-100.

Metruk, R. (2018). The effects of watching authentic English videos with and without subtitles on listening and reading skills of EFL learners. EURASIA Journal of Mathematics, Science and Technology Education, 14(6), 2545-2553.

Mitterer, H., & McQueen, J. M. (2009). Foreign subtitles help but native-language subtitles harm foreign speech perception. PloS one, 4(11), e7785.

Mustofa, M., & Sari, A. S. (2020). Video subtitle to teach listening skill of junior high school students. JEES (Journal of English Educators Society), 5(2), 149-153.

Napikul, S., Cedar, P., & Roongrattanakool, D. (2018). The Effects of Film Subtitles on English Listening Comprehension and Vocabulary. International Journal of Applied Linguistics and English Literature, 7, 104-111.

Price, K. (1983). Closed-captioned TV: An untapped resource. MATESOL Newsletter 12, 1–8.

Prior, M. T. (2018). Interviews and Focus Groups. In A. Phakiti, P. De Costa, L. Plonsky, & S. Starfield (Eds.), The Palgrave Handbook of Applied Linguistics Research Methodology (pp. 225-248). London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Qasim, A., & Yahiaoui, R. (2019). The Role of Subtitling and Dubbing in Arabic Vocabulary Acquisition: A Contrastive Study. AWEJ for Translation & Literary Studies, Volume3, Number1.

Rokni, J., & Ataee, A. (2014). The Effect of Movie Subtitles on EFL Learners’ Oral Performance. International Journal of English, Literature and Humanities, (1) 5, 201-215

Saiegh-Haddad, E. (2005). Correlates of Reading Fluency in Arabic: Diglossic and Orthographic Factors. Reading and Writing, 18, 559-582.

Selim, A. A. (2010). The Effect of Using Same Language Subtitling (SLS) in ContentComprehension and Vocabulary Acquisition in Arabic as a Foreign Language (AFL).Master's Thesis: American University in Cairo.

Sergey, I. N., Koltcov, S., & Koltsova, O. (2015). Topic modelling for qualitative studies. Journal of Information Science, 43(1), 88-102.

Shabani, K., & Zanussi, M. P. (2015). The impact of watching captioned TV series on vocabulary development of EFL students. Journal for the Study of English Linguistics, 3(1), 118-129.

Stanley, G., & Thornbury, S. (2013). Language Learning with Technology: Ideas for Integrating Technology in the Classroom. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Stockwell, G. (2012). Computer-Assisted Language Learning: Diversity in Research and Practice: Cambridge University Press.

Thammineni, H. (2016). Movies Supplement English Classroom to Be Effective in Improving Students’ Listening and Speaking Skills- A Review. International Journalon Studies in English Language and Literature (IJSELL), Vol. 4, No. 6: pp. 35-37.

Thomas, M., & Schneider, C. (2020). Language Teaching with Video-Based Technologies: Creativity and CALL Teacher Education. London; New York: Routledge.

Türkmen, B. (2020). Utilising Digital Media as a Second Language (L2) Support: A Case Study on Netflix with Translation Applications. Interdisciplinary Description of Complex Systems, 18, 459-470.

Vanderplank, R. (1988). The value of teletext subtitles in language learning. ELT Journal 42.4, 272–281.

Vanderplank, R. (2010). D´ej`a vu? A decade of research on language laboratories, television and video in language learning. Language Teaching 43.1, 1–37.

Vanderplank, R. (2013). 'Effects of' and' effects with' captions: How exactly does watching a TV programme with same-language subtitles make a difference to language learners?. Language Teaching, 49(2), 1-16

Wahba, K., Taha, Z. A., & England, L. (Eds.). (2014). Handbook for Arabic language teaching professionals in the 21st century. London; New York: Routledge.

Winke, P., Gass, S., & Syodorenko, T. (2010). The effects of captioning videos used for foreign language listening activities. Language Learning & Technology, 14(1), 65-86.

Yahaya, H., Sardi, J., Radzi, M., Abdelhamid, I.Y., Bakar, K.A., & Ahmad, S. (2019). Analysis of M-Learning Requirements in Arabic Language Learning. Journal of Education and Practice, 10, 18-23.

Yiping, J. (2016). An investigation into the effects of English movies on English listening and suggestions. International Journal of Arts and Commerce, 5(4).201-215

Zanon, N. T. (2006). Using subtitles to enhance foreign language learning. PortaLinguarum, Vol. 6: pp. 41-52.

Zou, B., & Thomas, M. (2019). Recent Developments in Technology-Enhanced and Computer-Assisted Language Learning. Hershey, Pennsylvania: IGI Global.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Ijaz Arabi : Journal of Arabic Learning is Indexed by

   Hasil gambar untuk sinta  Hasil gambar untuk logo clarivate


Ijaz Arabi Journal of Arabic Learning
Department of Arabic Language Education

Universitas Islam Negeri Maulana Malik Ibrahim Malang

Jln. Gajayana 50 Malang Indonesia, 


Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a CC BY-NC-SA

© All rights reserved 2018. Ijaz Arabi Journal of Arabic Learning, ISSN Print: 2620-5912 ISSN Online: 2620-5947