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Plenary speakers

A/Prof. Sijia Chen

Guangdong University of Foreign Studies
Enhancing vocabulary learning from video through subtitles: The effects of L2, L1, and bilingual subtitles over time

In recent years, a surge of interest has manifested towards using videos as tools for second and foreign language learning both inside and outside the classroom. The easy and prevalent access to authentic video materials has enabled a myriad of innovative approaches to improve learning outcomes. Among these, the use of subtitles appears to stand out as an effective method. Researchers have investigated the benefits of subtitled videos upon various aspects of language learning (for reviews, see Caruana, 2021; Montero Perez, 2022; Vanderplank, 2010). The learning outcome is often not equal across different subtitling conditions, and may vary as a function of learner characteristics such as language proficiency (Suárez & Gesa, 2019). Moreover, the evidence of language learning by watching subtitled videos over time is still scarce (Vanderplank, 2016). This study aims to investigate vocabulary learning through video under four subtitling conditions: no subtitles, L2 subtitles, L1 subtitles, and bilingual subtitles. Data were collected from two groups of participants: middle school and high school students. The research involved a four-week intervention and measured vocabulary learning through both immediate and delayed tests. This allows us to gain a more nuanced understanding of the dynamics of vocabulary learning under varying subtitling conditions and among different types of learners.

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Sijia Chen is associate professor of Interpreting & Translation Studies at Guangdong University of Foreign Studies and honorary associate professor of Linguistics at Macquarie University. Her main research interests include cognitive translation and interpreting studies, translation and interpreting technology, and audiovisual translation. She investigates the cognitive aspects of translation and interpreting using pen recording, eye tracking, think-aloud protocols, and psychometrics.

Asst. Prof. Long Li

The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK)
Do readers agree with analysts? Testing multimodal social semiotics with reader reaction to translated book covers

There have been a growing number of recent publications (cf. Lee, 2015; Mossop, 2018; Batchelor, 2018; Yu 2019; Jiang, 2021) on translated book covers, a highly prominent form of paratext (Genette, 1997) but was, until recently, an unchartered territory of research (Sonzogni, 2011). The author has proposed a social-semiotic framework for translated book covers (Li et al., 2019; Li, 2021) by drawing on multimodal social semiotics (O’Toole, 1994; Kress and van Leeuwen, 1996/2021; Bateman, 2014), which usefully offer a common framework for studying both verbal and visual elements within a cover. However, while this framework systematises dimensions of multimodal meaning-meaning resources on translated book covers, it remains unclear if and to what extent semiotic analyses can be matched with dominant patterns of readers’ perception and reactions. Further, contrastive differences require a critical examination of the application of visual grammar to non-Western contexts such as Chinese. This presentation reports on an eye-tracking experiment to understand viewers’ perception of and reaction to translated book covers. Ten front covers were taken from the Chinese translations of English books by prominent Chinese migrant writers in the Anglosphere. The experiment explores how different dimensions of multimodal meaning-making, as identified by Li (2021), impact reader comprehension of the books and their purchasing interest. The presentation concludes with the implications of advancing book cover studies by combining multimodal social semiotics with experimental studies.

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Long Li is Assistant Professor in the Department of Translation at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK). He holds a B.A., an M.A., and a PhD (Macquarie University) in Translation Studies. Dr Li is a NAATI Examiner, Certified Translator (Chinese<>English) and Interpreter (Mandarin<>English) with expertise in legal and healthcare discourses. His research interests include the successful English works by Chinese migrant writers, translation and ideology, contrastive linguistics between English and Chinese (esp. Systemic Functional Linguistics), and digital humanities.

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