J Eng Teach Movie Media > Volume 21(1); 2020 > Article
Journal of English Teaching through Movies and Media 2020;21(1):119-143.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.16875/stem.2020.21.1.119    Published online February 28, 2020.
Exploring the Use of a Machine Translator on EFL Learners’ Reading Comprehension
Hea-Suk Kim, Yoonjung Cha
The study aims to examine whether a machine translator can be effective in promoting learners’ performance in reading comprehension. The main reason for using a machine translator, in this case Papago, was to increase students’ engagement in order to better comprehend the content of selected reading materials. Twenty-seven students were assigned to a wordlist group while thirty-four were assigned to a Papago group. The wordlist group was provided with a wordlist before reading the main texts while the Papago group used Papago. Both groups took a reading comprehension test before and after the experiment. The test comprised 20 reading comprehension and vocabulary questions. A significant difference in reading performance was found between the wordlist group and the Papago group. Furthermore, the results of the survey revealed that the participants’ perspectives in both groups showed significant differences in all items. Open-ended responses demonstrated the benefits and drawbacks of utilizing the wordlists and Papago. Consequently, the findings of this study indicate that students preferred the wordlists to Papago for understanding the reading texts. That is, using machine translators may not be useful in L2 reading. In this light, several pedagogical implications for designing and using machine translators are proposed.
Key Words: machine translators;Papago;wordlist;reading comprehension

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