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Pedagogy and education

Video Materials in Teaching the Specialty Language at the University

Tavberidze Dar'ya Vladimirovna

ORCID: 0000-0002-2727-6803

PhD in Philosophy

Associate professor, Department of Foreign Languages, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Peoples' Friendship University of Russia

117198, Miklukho-Maklay str, 6, Moscow, Russian Federation

Other publications by this author

Paimakova Elena Albertovna

ORCID: 0000-0002-3682-8091

PhD in Philology

Associate professor, Department of Foreign Languages, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Peoples' Friendship University of Russia

117198, Miklukho-Maklay str, 6, Moscow, Russian Federation

Other publications by this author










Abstract: Teaching a specialty language as one of the aspects of a foreign language course requires the teacher to pay special attention to the vocabulary. One of the strategies for expanding the vocabulary of students is the use of English-language video materials devoted to the topics studied and lexically echoing them. The object of the study is the influence of English-language video materials with a certain set of words and notions as one of the tools for expanding vocabulary. The hypothesis was that the effectiveness of using this type of educational work to expand the vocabulary of students. The experiment was conducted in groups studying the specialty language. The authors of the study selected experimental and control groups, and a preliminary test was conducted before the experiment. After the course, students were offered a post-test, which consisted in checking students' vocabulary in control and experimental groups and an oral interview based on the results of training. The main conclusions of the study are: the results of the experiment show that the use of specially selected video materials has a positive impact on the development of special vocabulary. The final conversation of the teachers with the students of the experimental groups revealed a high level of satisfaction with the course and significant signs of an increase in motivation to further study the language of the specialty. Despite some limitations of the study, the authors consider the results of the experiment to be a weighty argument in favor of using video materials as an effective tool for expanding vocabulary.


English language, teaching, specialty language, teaching methods, vocabulary, vocabulary expansion, video materials, functions of video materials, motivation, testing

This article is automatically translated. You can find original text of the article here.

Introduction Teaching a specialty language at a university is always associated with some acute moments: difficulties with the selection of materials corresponding to the current political situation in the world, the rapid obsolescence of vocabulary on the one hand and the emergence of new concepts on the other, the need for students to assimilate large arrays of words and stable expressions.

At the same time, in teaching the language of the specialty, it is the vocabulary that becomes the cornerstone of learning, since the main purpose of studying the language of the specialty is precisely to enrich the vocabulary of students with special words and expressions [14], since it is assumed that by the beginning of studying the language of the specialty, students have already mastered the basics of grammar, and complex grammatical constructions, as a rule, in texts by profession, they are rare.

Vocabulary is a set of words that are the basis of language proficiency and are used by a certain people, group or person. This is the main component of the language, it largely provides the basis for students to be able to speak, listen, read and write. Observations by various authors show that it is still difficult for students to enrich their vocabulary [6]. And in the language classes of the specialty, the development of a new vocabulary becomes a priority for students. Russian Russian students often have difficulty understanding the meaning of a word when studying texts and translating them from English into Russian and from Russian into English, as they have learned new vocabulary only from the teacher's explanations and textbooks. Often they know only one meaning of the word. At the same time, many words related to the specifics of the specialty international relations are ambiguous, which causes additional difficulties for students.

This means that when students have the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the vocabulary using various tools (printed, audio and video materials), they can easily master the completeness of the meaning of terms and established expressions by studying them in different contexts [8]. In addition, the variety of types of work on vocabulary inspire students with enthusiasm and increase their activity in the classroom [9].

The use of video materials in the educational process, of course, requires more time from the teacher to prepare, since it is not easy to find videos related specifically to the vocabulary of the topics being studied, also, some video materials require work in a video editor, being too long, however, in the opinion of the authors, the positive effect of their use overlaps these temporary costs.

Speaking about the positive aspects of using audiovisual teaching tools, it is necessary to characterize their main functions as educational material [11]:

a) The function of attracting attention: stimulating the interest of students and increasing concentration.

b) Affective function: being mainly visual, students enjoy watching, and also, they are stimulated by the connection they see between the vocabulary learned in the lesson and used in the video.

c) Cognitive function: video materials make it easier for students to understand and memorize information. This means that with the help of visual and audio accompaniment, information becomes clearer, and students, having met the studied vocabulary again, easily understand it.

d) Compensatory function: helps lower-level students better understand information by showing them a different context of vocabulary use.

Video materials also have several additional functions:

1. Video materials combine two elements of audio and visual media, which increases the intensity of their impact.

2. With the help of a video clip, the information previously obtained from the teacher or from printed materials becomes clearer.

3. When using video materials in the classroom, the teacher needs less energy, he can only make some explanations to the material.

The authors of the study have done a lot of preliminary work by selecting video materials for all topics of the curriculum of the semester under consideration, if necessary, reducing them or combining several clips into one material.

Basic principles of selection of video materials:

1. The presence in the video of vocabulary already mastered by students on the material of a textbook or article.

2. A fascinating video sequence corresponding to the topic.

3. Acceptable pronunciation of the actors of the video.

4. The duration of the video is no more than 10 minutes.

As an example of the "article-video" block, here are the specific materials used by the authors in the topic of Self-determination:

- How Self-Determination Shaped the Modern World (An article from an English-language resource dedicated to international relations); - What is Self-Determination?

(video, about 20 minutes long, presented in open access on the Internet).Methodology

The purpose of the study was to find out the effectiveness of using short-duration (7-10 minutes) films devoted to the topics covered and related to them lexically for more successful vocabulary acquisition by 3rd-year students of the International Relations specialty of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences of the Peoples' Friendship University of Russia.

The study was conducted in the 2nd semester of the 2021-2022 academic year from February to May. The object of the study was four groups of 3rd year students who studied English as a second foreign language (the influence of the first language studied was not taken into account in the study). The control groups, in which classes were held without the use of video materials, but only on the basis of articles on the specialty, consisted of 18 (Group K-1) and 16 (Group K-2) students, experimental groups of 17 (Group E-1) and 18 (Group E-2) students, respectively.

When collecting data, the authors conducted 2 quantitative studies: preliminary testing and post-testing. Preliminary testing was used to determine the general level of students' knowledge, and post-testing was used to identify differences between the degree of mastery of the vocabulary of students in groups who studied with and without the use of the methodology. After the study, an oral conversation was conducted in the experimental group on the results of the training and general impressions of the course

Preliminary testing. Preliminary testing was conducted in the classroom before the start of the application of the methodology.

Students were offered a preliminary test to assess their basic knowledge. The preliminary test affected vocabulary and consisted of words and phrases studied within the aspect of the press, since the aspect of the specialty language was not studied in previous courses. There were 25 tasks of the preliminary test in total, the score for each item was 4 points. If an element is specified incorrectly or left empty, the score is 0. The maximum possible score is 100, and the minimum is 0.

The test results by the number of points are divided into groups in accordance with the point-rating system used at the Peoples' Friendship University of Russia:




estimates in the Russian Federation

Transfer points





86 - 100


95 - 100



86 - 94



69 - 85


69 - 85



51 - 68


61 - 68



51 - 60



0 - 50


31 - 50



0 - 30



Diagram 1 shows the results of the preliminary test:

As can be seen from the diagram, all four groups, both control and experimental, wrote the preliminary test fairly smoothly, no large deviations were detected between them.

To obtain more objective results, two study groups were assigned to each of the researchers: one experimental and one control. Further, during the semester, the authors conducted classes in groups in accordance with the stated conditions of the experiment: in the experimental groups, thematic articles and texts were supplemented with appropriate video materials. In the control groups, classes were conducted on the same topics with similar lexical content, but without additions in the form of videos.


The post-test was conducted at one of the last classes of the semester, after applying the above technique. The purpose of the post-test was to find out whether additional viewing of video materials had a positive effect on the vocabulary acquisition of students in experimental groups compared to students in the control group, where the above materials were not offered. The post-test concerned terms and stable expressions found in texts and videos. The post-test consisted of 25 multiple choice questions, the score for each item was 4 points. If an element is specified incorrectly or left empty, the score is 0. The maximum possible score is 100, and the minimum is 0.

The second table suggests paying considerable attention to the green and brown balls, which are responsible for the marks from 69 to 85 and from 86 to 100, respectively. The results of the post-testing show a clear advantage for the better in the experimental groups: in them, a larger number of students coped with the work for a high score (69-100), while one student who received an unsatisfactory mark can not be taken into account in statistics due to the fact that he wrote an entrance test for failure, and during the semester missed more than 80 percent of classes.

At the last session of the semester, the teachers conducted oral interviews with the students of the experimental groups, at which a number of questions were asked in order to find out the general satisfaction with the course and motivation for further classes in this form, the students unanimously spoke in favor of video materials as an effective method of achieving the course goals. The fact that this vocabulary is used by modern actors of international politics, well-known political figures and teachers of the specialty international relations in English-speaking universities, stimulated their interest both in the subject of international relations itself and in the English language as an instrument for understanding this subject in its diversity. Different types of work (and especially video materials) make them feel that they are engaged in a lively and interesting business that is in demand in the real world, and not just in the classroom.

Thus, as a result of the study, the hypothesis was confirmed that the method of using video materials is effective for students to master an expanded vocabulary in the aspect of the specialty language and is one of the useful tools that can help students solve their problems with the study of special vocabulary. In addition, watching and studying video materials arouses students' enthusiasm, interest and pleasure, which is an effective motivational factor.


The authors of the study admit that the experiment is not without some limitations, which cannot but affect the results. Firstly, a subjective approach to the selection of video materials may negatively affect the test results. Secondly, multiple choice testing may not quite objectively reflect the results of expanding students' vocabulary. Thirdly, when working with formulas, the results of a student who has received a failure will significantly reduce the positive statistics of experimental groups. Fourth, it is possible that this type of work will slightly increase the load on the teacher when preparing materials for the lesson, which will complicate the possibilities of its widespread use.

However, having noted all the above limitations, it is necessary to recognize that the use of video materials as one of the tools for expanding vocabulary in the language classes of the specialty is very productive and can be used in classes on all aspects of learning a foreign language. The increase in the teacher's time spent on preparing materials (searching, editing, compiling a glossary) is covered by the effectiveness of their application and the observed increase in students' motivation.