Internet media as a resource for independent EFL vocabulary learning

Research output: Unpublished conference presentation (presented paper, abstract, poster)Conference presentation (not published in journal/proceeding/book)Academic research


In the age of internet television and social media, input is only a click away from English-as- a-Foreign-Language (EFL) learners. Many young people spend hours every week enjoying foreign language videos and radios on the commute. Yet, we know too little about the workings of incidental EFL acquisition from watching internet media to offer these keen independent learners practical advice. Without guidance, learners end up choosing foreign language videos and radios rather randomly when, in fact, their choice should match their learning goals (Lin, 2014; Lin and Siyanova, 2014), EFL proficiency and verbal processing ability (i.e. phonological short-term memory capacity, vocabulary size and auditory word recognition ability).
This paper reports on three research projects conducted at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University to facilitate personalised and well-structured computer-assisted independent English vocabulary learning through internet media. The first project examined internet media (e.g. vlogs) as an invaluable source of authentic and engaging input for learning casual English speech. The second project applied natural language processing (NLP) techniques to develop IdiomsTube, an intelligent computer tool capable of automatically highlighting noteworthy speech formulae present in any subtitled English videos on YouTube. The third project involved a control experiment which explored how EFL learners’ comprehension of videos may vary with the video’s speech rate and density of unknown words. The results of the control experiment formed the basis of the automatic video recommendation function of our intelligent independent vocabulary learning app IdiomsTube.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019
EventTokyo Discourse Group, University of Tokyo - University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
Duration: 6 Dec 20196 Dec 2019


WorkshopTokyo Discourse Group, University of Tokyo


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