ITT Annual Lecture 2017 – Susan Gass

ITT Annual Lecture 2017 - Susan Gass

The 2017 ITT Lecture took place on June 21, from 5:15 to 6:45 p.m. in the Neuer Senatssaal of Leipzig University (Ritterstr. 26).

We were very pleased to welcome Prof. Dr. Susan Gass, with her lecture entitled “Learning to Listen: To caption or Not?”


Listening skills are often the last skill to develop in foreign language learning. This presentation will focus on classroom use of listening-based videos with a particular emphasis on the use of captions for language teaching/learning in foreign language classrooms. I will first present results from large-scale assessments at a large university in the U.S. From these results, we can better understand the role of listening language learning. I then present results from studies in which the focus was on the relative usefulness of captions depending on language, proficiency, and order of presentation when listening materials are played twice (with and without captions). I will also look at eye-tracking data from English learners of Spanish and Chinese and Arabic learners of English. The eye-tracking data, coupled with working memory data, provide insight into the attentional focus of captions and the potentially resultant split-attention effect. I will end with some pedagogical implications.