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Foreign Subtitles Help but Native-Language Subtitles Harm Foreign Speech Perception

Figure 1

Mean proportions of correctly repeated words by Dutch listeners.

The data are collapsed over exposure/test regional accent (Scottish or Australian English), for new and previously heard items and for each of the exposure conditions: no subtitles, English subtitles, or Dutch subtitles, or no prior exposure to the test accent (Control). Error bars are ±1 Standard Error of the mean. ** = p<.01; * = p<.05. There were three key findings: (1) Exposure to an unfamiliar foreign regional accent improves speech understanding; (2) Native-language subtitles help recognition of previously heard words but harm recognition of new words; (3) Foreign-language subtitles improve repetition of previously heard and new words, the latter demonstrating lexically-guided retuning of perception.

Figure 1