The effect of the use of English media on English vocabulary acquisition: an empirical study with Flemish youngsters. Several experimental studies have demonstrated the short term effects of watching foreign language television on children and youngsters' foreign language skills. This article reports on an empirical study in which the long term effects of media use on vocabulary acquisition were tested. In the study, the self-reported use of English language media of 374 Flemish pupils in the last year of primary education was compared with their scores on an oral English vocabulary test. The analyses of variance reveal that pupils who frequently watch subtitled English television programmes and films perform significantly better on the vocabulary test. While listening to English music does not seem to significantly influence the size of the pupils' vocabulary, it does have a positive impact on the level of difficulty of the lexical terms learned (i.e. the proportion items not cognate to the Dutch equivalent). The same applies to playing English computer games, albeit only with male pupils.

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Keywords English media, foreign language acquisition, subtitled television, vocabulary
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Kuppens, A.H.. (2007). De invloed van mediagebruik op de verwerving van Engelse woordenschat: een empirische studie bij Vlaamse jongeren. Tijdschrift voor Communicatiewetenschap (print), 35(4), 325–336. Retrieved from