Students' perceptions towards using English movies to enhance their English speaking skills

The innovative, high-tech applications have been implemented thoroughly in educational settings

in recent years. Blended learning and flipped model have applied in teaching and learning the 4

micro-skills of English, of which English speaking skills benefit much from the modern and

updated educational technology. This study investigated the students’ perceptions towards the

practical use of watching English movies to develop their English speaking skills. The results of

before-and-after tests were employed in the quasi-experiment to the class with an experimental

group of 32 students compared with a 35-member control group of non-English major students

during the second semester 2019-2020 at Thai Nguyen University of Agriculture and Forestry. The

experimental class received a positive result from watching English movies; they felt active and

interested during the speaking sessions. Thus, the application of this pedagogical implementation

yields a beneficial and effective tool for enhancing English-speaking skills. The findings of this

research are served as a useful resource for the education policy makers to flare the initiatives in

reforming and restructuring the policies of teaching and learning foreign languages. Moreover, this

model could be applied in English language teaching.

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 ISSN: 1859-2171 
e-ISSN: 2615-9562 
TNU Journal of Science and Technology 225(11): 85 - 92 
 Email: jst@tnu.edu.vn 85 
 STUDENTS' PERCEPTIONS TOWARDS USING ENGLISH MOVIES 
 TO ENHANCE THEIR ENGLISH SPEAKING SKILLS 
 Bui Thi Kieu Giang 
 TNU - Univerisity of Agriculture and Forestry
ABSTRACT 
 The innovative, high-tech applications have been implemented thoroughly in educational settings 
 in recent years. Blended learning and flipped model have applied in teaching and learning the 4 
 micro-skills of English, of which English speaking skills benefit much from the modern and 
 updated educational technology. This study investigated the students’ perceptions towards the 
 practical use of watching English movies to develop their English speaking skills. The results of 
 before-and-after tests were employed in the quasi-experiment to the class with an experimental 
 group of 32 students compared with a 35-member control group of non-English major students 
 during the second semester 2019-2020 at Thai Nguyen University of Agriculture and Forestry. The 
 experimental class received a positive result from watching English movies; they felt active and 
 interested during the speaking sessions. Thus, the application of this pedagogical implementation 
 yields a beneficial and effective tool for enhancing English-speaking skills. The findings of this 
 research are served as a useful resource for the education policy makers to flare the initiatives in 
 reforming and restructuring the policies of teaching and learning foreign languages. Moreover, this 
 model could be applied in English language teaching. 
 Keywords: students’ perceptions; before-and-after research design; experimental group; control 
 group; quasi-experiment. 
 Received: 07/7/2020; Revised: 11/8/2020; Published: 12/8/2020 
 CẢM NHẬN CỦA SINH VIÊN ĐỐI VỚI VIỆC XEM CÁC ĐOẠN PHIM 
 TIẾNG ANH ĐỂ NÂNG CAO KỸ NĂNG GIAO TIẾP TIẾNG ANH 
 Bùi Thị Kiều Giang* 
 Trường Đại học Nông Lâm – ĐH Thái Nguyên
TÓM TẮT 
 Ứng dụng công nghệ hiện đại và đổi mới đã được thực hiện triệt để trong môi trường giáo dục 
 trong những năm gần đây. Mô hình kết hợp và mô hình đảo ngược đã được áp dụng trong việc dạy 
 và học 4 kỹ năng chính của tiếng Anh, trong đó công nghệ giảng dạy hiện đại và cập nhật mang lại 
 lợi ích trong việc phát triển kỹ năng giao tiếp tiếng Anh. Nghiên cứu này điều tra sự cảm nhận của 
 sinh viên đối với việc sử dụng xem các đoạn phim bằng tiếng Anh để phát triển kỹ năng giao tiếp 
 tiếng Anh của các em. Mô hình bán thực nghiệm sử dụng kết quả bài thi nói đầu vào, đầu ra của 
 lớp 32 sinh viên thực nghiệm được so sánh với lớp 35 sinh viên nhóm quan sát trong học kỳ 2 năm 
 học 2019-2020 tại Trường Đại học Nông Lâm – Đại học Thái Nguyên. Lớp học thực nghiệm đạt 
 được kết quả tích cực từ việc xem phim bằng tiếng Anh này. Sinh viên cảm thấy tích cực và thích 
 thú trong các buổi học giao tiếp tiếng Anh. Như vậy, việc ứng dụng sư phạm này mang đến một 
 công cụ hữu ích và hiệu quả trong việc nâng cao kỹ năng giao tiếp tiếng Anh. Kết quả của nghiên 
 cứu này là nguồn tham khảo hữu ích đối với nhà hoạch định chính sách giáo dục để đưa ra những 
 sáng kiến trong việc cải tổ và tái thiết việc giảng dạy ngôn ngữ nước ngoài. Hơn nữa, mô hình này 
 có thể được áp dụng vào việc giảng dạy ngôn ngữ tiếng Anh. 
 Từ khoá: cảm nhận của sinh viên; các đoạn phim tiếng Anh; nhóm thực nghiệm; nhóm quan sát;
 bán thực nghiệm. 
 Ngày nhận bài: 07/7/2020; Ngày hoàn thiện: 11/8/2020; Ngày đăng: 12/8/2020 
Email: buithikieugiang@tuaf.edu.vn 
DOI: https://doi.org/10.34238/tnu-jst.3387
Bui Thi Kieu Giang TNU Journal of Science and Technology 225(11): 85 - 92 
 Email: jst@tnu.edu.vn 86 
1. Introduction 
Nowadays, the revolutionization of the 
information technology (IT) has made a 
great influence on human beings. In terms of 
teaching English, it benefits much from the 
development of IT. There has been a number 
of researches relating to the use of watching 
English movies to enhance English speaking 
skills (ESSs) such as [1], [2], [3], [4], [5], 
[6], [7]. Actually, the traditional educational 
method encounters difficult activities for 
teaching speaking skills because textbooks 
do not allocate diverse speaking activities for 
learners to have thorough contexts to express 
themselves in the targeted languages. 
Whereas, social media especially movies 
clips can provide learners with 
supplementary knowledge to support 
students’ speaking actions. 
Of the 4 micro-skills, speaking skills can be 
viewed as the most important as people who 
know other languages are referred to as 
“speakers” of that language. In fact, speaking 
skills comprise of all the other language 
skills, and most language learners show their 
interests in learning to communicate orally 
[8]. Classroom activities which improve 
students’ ability to express themselves 
through speech would be the core component 
of a language curriculum. While some 
courses are intentionally tailored to enhance 
oral fluency, others are designed specifically 
for “conversation classes”. However, teachers 
find it difficult to get students to participate in 
speaking activities [8], so teachers need to 
find diversified and innovative ways to create 
interesting learning environments for students 
to express themselves by using languages that 
is relevant and easily understandable. 
The importance of teaching speaking skills is 
highlighted in the Communicative Language 
Teaching method (CLT) or sometimes 
referred as communicative approach. 
Speaking activities can be designed in many 
interesting ways [7], [9]. Thanks to the 
development of the internet era, teachers 
could explore the possibilities of using 
English movies to enhance students’ speaking 
skills. Many studies [3, 4, 6, 10, 11, 12, 13] 
have been done on the application of using 
English movies to enhance speaking skills. 
However, a few quasi-experimental studies 
have been done to investigate the perceptions 
of students in the exploitation of watching 
English videos to enhance English speaking 
skills. Therefore, this study was carried out to 
answer the following issues: 
1. How are students’ perceptions towards 
watching English movies to develop speaking 
skills? 
2. Watching English video clips wastes time 
and does not improve students’ speaking skills. 
The findings of this study would formulate 
the decision on whether watching English 
movies would be encouraged or not for the 
educational policy makers. Besides, the 
outcomes would be served as a pedagogical 
reference for other English teachers and 
future studies as such. 
2. Methodology 
2.1. Research design 
This study employed a before-and-after 
research design using the results of the pre-
test and post-test to check the efficiency of 
the watching English movies. To further 
comprehend the perceptions of the 
experimental group, the survey questionnaires 
were employed in addition to the pre-test and 
post-test. The findings would be supported for 
the implications of whether watching English 
movies was an effective way to enhance 
students’ speaking skills. 
2.2. The participants 
The participants consisted of 67 non-major 
students in 2 classes during the 2
nd
 term 2019-
2020 at Thai Nguyen University of 
Agriculture and Forestry (TUAF). 
Particularly, one 35-student class was chosen 
as the controlled group, they learned as the 
Bui Thi Kieu Giang TNU Journal of Science and Technology
 Email: jst@tnu.edu.vn 
preset program accordingly, and the results of 
their pre-test and post-test would be used for 
the purpose of comparison. The other 32-
student class was assigned as the 
experimental group. They also did the pre-test 
and post-test the same as the controlled class, 
but they studied their 45-lesson programme 
watching English movies, equivalent to 2.025 
hours of learning ESSs, and they participated 
in the survey questionnaires to reveal their 
perceptions afterwards. 
2.3. Data collection tools 
The research instruments were based on two 
sources - the pre-test and the post-test results, 
and the survey questionnaire for the 
experimental group. The pre-test format was 
adapted from A2 speaking test from 
Cambridge Assessment English (CAE) [14] 
with the 3 criteria such as grammar and 
vocabulary, pronunciation, and interactive 
communication. The students’ performance 
would be scored from band 1 to band 5. The 
post-test exam was also based on B1 speaking 
test from CAE [15], too. The pre-test (A2) 
and post-test (B1) meet the requirement set by 
the Ministry of Education and Training 
(MOET) for the expected learning outcomes 
at the tertiary levels for general college 
students. The participants’ speaking 
performance would be tested on 4 criteria, 
namely grammar and vocabulary, discourse 
management, pronunciation and interactive 
communication. The scores were given as the 
same pre-test with 5 bands. 
Another research instrument was the 16 
researcher-made survey questionnaires, 
constructing basing on the mixture of factual, 
behavioral, and attitudinal questions [16]. The 
questionnaires were presented to 5 experts on 
educational assessment and accreditation for 
content validation. After that the 
questionnaires were fine-tuned with a group 
of 15 students in a pilot study to validate the 
strengths and weaknesses of the instrument. 
The 16 out of 25 raw questions met the Alpha 
values of 0.87 ( = 0.84-0.90, reliable; [17]), 
 225(11): 85 - 92 
the researcher removed 9 questions which did 
not meet the standards. Finally, the 
questionnaires included 3 parts, the first one 
explored the demographic profiles of the 
participants, the second one investigated the 
benefits of watching English movies to 
students, and the last part found out the 
perceptions of the participants. The researcher 
masked these questions for the purpose of 
reliability. The questions 1, 2, 3 were about 
the advantages of watching English movies 
with 5 degrees: (1) strongly disagree, (2) 
disagree, (3) neutrally, (4) agree, and (5) 
strongly agree, then the questions 4, 5 were 
about the problems students might encounter 
with the inverted levels. The rest questions 
were arranged 3 advantages of watching 
English movies, followed by 2 problems 
students had. 
The study was carried during 3 months of the 
2
nd 
term 2019-2020 at TUAF. The pre-test 
results of both classes were taken from the 
placement test, equivalent to A2 speaking test 
[14]. At the end of the semester, students took 
the exit test, equivalent to B1 speaking test. 
These test scores would be taken for the 
purpose of the progress comparison. 
After the experimental class had finished their 
B1 speaking task [15], the questionnaires 
were floated among these students to know 
their perceptions of the experiment with 
watching English video lessons. The 
participants were explained carefully about 
the questionnaires before being administered. 
Finally, the questionnaires ran through the 
data screen process for the best outcomes. 
2.4. Data analysis 
The screened data were treated with SPSS 
software for mean, t-test, and Chi-square for 
correlation. Descriptive statistics were used to 
find out the mean and standard derivation for 
the part 3 of the questionnaires. The values 
would be used Likert scale explanation such as 
1.0-1.79 (very low); (1.8-2.59) low; 2.6-3.39 
(neutral); 3.4-4.19 (high); 4.2-5.0 (very high). 
 87
Bui Thi Kieu Giang TNU Journal of Science and Technology
 Email: jst@tnu.edu.vn 88 
Independent sample T Test was employed to 
check the relationships between the use of 
watching English films and their exit 
speaking grades. Besides, mastery test was 
also calculated the strengths and weaknesses 
that students would focus on to improve their 
speaking skills. 
3. Results and discussion 
When investigating the demographic profiles 
of the experimental groups, 25 male students 
(78.1%) participated in the study, in line with 
7 female students (21.9%). This ratio reflects 
that the inequality in genders might affect the 
film genres or the study habit. On examining 
the academic years, the results show that 29 
students, accounting for 90.6% were 
sophomores, only 3 students (9.4%) were 
juniors. These figures demote that most 
students have the same academic 
backgrounds. As glimpsed at the length of 
year learning English, 20 students, equivalent 
to 62.5% studied English for under 15 years, 
while 12 students (37.5%) learnt English for 
under 10 years. This means that the students 
have been learning English for a long time. 
For the frequency of watching English 
movies, a half of the students revealed that 
they often watched English movies, while 
40.6% or 13 students confessed that they 
sometimes watched, and only 3 students 
(9.4%) confirmed to be always watching 
English movies. These data show the high 
frequency of students watching English 
movies. Regarding the film genres, 19 
students accounting for 59.4% chose the 
action films, the nearly same numbers horror 
and romance with 7 students (21.9%) and 6 
ones (18.8%), respectively followed the 
action films. Therefore, the inequality of the 
gender population could affect the choice of 
the film genres. When watching the English 
film genres, the majority of students (59.4%) 
preferred watching English movies with the 
English subtitles, whereas 9 students (28.1%) 
liked Vietnamese subtitles, and only 4 
 225(11): 85 - 92 
students or 12.5% of the participants watched 
English movies without any subtitles. 
Vocabulary and content comprehension 
shared nearly the similar choices with 11 
students (34.4%) and 10 or 15.6 % of the 
participants, respectively. Following these 
things, pronunciation was interested in by 6 
students (18.8%), and 5 students (15.6%) 
confessed that they watched English for fun. 
Thus, students somehow watch English 
movies to serve their purpose of improving 
their English competency. 
Table 1 shows the student’s benefits of 
watching English movies. The results indicate 
that positive outcomes were presented with 
the most focus on native accents and dialects 
(M=4.50; SD=0.568). The characters come 
from different parts of the world, so they use 
their own accents and dialects which could be 
found in other studies [9, 10, 3]. The 2
nd 
highest result was the changing the 
participants’ enthusiasm in speaking lessons 
with the mean of 4.24. When asked about the 
English subtitle and the improved 
pronunciation, they shared the same, high 
means (4.16). Students have different ways of 
learning styles, they might study on their own 
by listening to the radio, or reading books, but 
they also need to improve their ESSs through 
watching English videos [3], [11]. The 
edutainment helped students relaxed when 
trying to improve their ESSs, which got a 
high view on edutainment medium (M = 4.12; 
SD = .070). Accordingly, the characters’ 
dialogues impressed their minds and they 
wanted to imitate or role-play the movie 
characters. One more aspect was about the 
exploration of the culture and society of 
English speaking countries through watching 
English movies. The finding revealed that 
together with improving their speaking skills, 
students also learnt more about the culture 
and society with the score of 4.00 or a high 
mean. This understanding could highly 
contribute to their background knowledge so 
that they felt at ease and confident to express 
Bui Thi Kieu Giang TNU Journal of Science and Technology
 Email: jst@tnu.edu.vn 89 
their viewpoints in English speaking (M = 
3.97). The conventional method of learning 
English speaking via textbooks or handouts 
was compared with watching English movies. 
Almost students recognized that they were 
inspired to practice better daily conversation 
by the motion pictures in the movies 
(M=3.81). In reality, the contexts and 
language choice on the classrooms are 
carefully checked so that these settings 
usually involve in formality. On the other 
hand, idioms, proverbs, and slang are 
commonly used in everyday conversations, 
that is why the respondents highly preferred 
watching English movies (M = 3.84). One 
surprising finding was that students did not 
feel that they wasted a lot of time watching 
English movies to enhance their ESSs. 
Compared with the Likert scale, this figure 
belonged to a low level. Thus, students felt 
interested in learning English through 
watching English movies. 
Table 2 presents the problems of watching 
English movies. Clearly, idioms, proverbs, 
and slangs might be frequently used in the 
movies. New vocabulary or dialects used by 
the characters make it difficult for students to 
catch up with the movie plots. Students 
confessed that they did not understand fully 
English movies because of their poor 
 225(11): 85 - 92 
vocabulary (M = 3.56, SD = .716; high). It is 
advisable for teachers to either choose the 
English movies equivalent to the students’ 
knowledge or pre-teach some difficult terms 
or jargons. Another problem was related to 
the differences in cultures. The participants 
reported that they sometimes had difficulty in 
comparing two different cultures with the 
high mean of 3.87. As mentioned in the item 
6, students showed high preference for 
exploring English speaking culture, so 
teachers should introduce the movie 
background before asking them to watch. 
Although the respondents reported neutrally 
about the confusion between the mixture of 
watching scenes, listening to dialogues, and 
reading subtitles at the same time with the 
mean 3.22, the standard derivation 1.039 was 
high, which denoted that the participants did 
not have the similar views. For the catching 
new words due to unfamiliar characters’ 
accents, the participants had low choices (M = 
2.06). The same situation with fast speech of 
the characters and visual aspects of the movies, 
the students did not care much with the means 
of 1.79 and 2.81, respectively. Generally, 
problems with watching English movies got a 
neutral weighted mean, which denotes that 
these problems might happen to the students but 
they have not clearly affected them.
Table 1. Advantages of watching English movies in improving speaking skill 
Mean 
Std. 
Deviation 
1. With English movies, I can learn and be entertained at the same time. 4.12 .707 
2. Watching movies takes me a lot of time. 2.31 .859 
3. Viewing the movie with English subtitle makes me remember the language and 
scene easily. 
4.16 .723 
6. English movies offer me the exploration of the culture and society of English 
speaking countries. 
4.00 .880 
7. Movie dialogue imitation improves my pronunciation. 4.16 .884 
8. I can enrich more idioms, proverbs, and slang in practice through movie dialogues. 3.84 .767 
11. Motion pictures in the movies inspire me in practicing better daily conversations. 3.81 .644 
12. The use of English movies raises my confidence when I speak. 3.97 .782 
13. English movies raise my enthusiasm towards speaking lessons. 4.25 .880 
16. I am familiarized with native accents and dialects better through English movies. 4.50 .568 
Weighted mean 3.91 
Bui Thi Kieu Giang TNU Journal of Science and Technology 
 Email: jst@tnu.edu.vn 90 
Table 2. Problems with watching English movies 
 225(11): 85 - 92 
Mean Std. Deviation
4. My lack of vocabulary does not allow me to catch up with the movie plot. 3.56 .716 
5. Sometimes I cannot understand the differences in our culture compared 
with those in the movies. 
3.78 .751 
9. I’m overwhelmed by watching scenes, listening 

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