Netflix for language learning: Individual trajectories in intra-formal L2 viewing

Antonie Alm

In this presentation I will discuss the learning and viewing experiences of intermediate level language learners of German with self-selected German TV series on Netflix, and their use of the subtitling tool Language Learning with Netflix (LLN). Drawing on a larger project on intra-formal language learning with Netflix, I will first introduce the concept of intra-formal language learning. The term intra-formal describes the interdependent nature of informal (self-initiated and out-of-class) and formal (classroom-bound) learning. Intra-formal language learning draws on prior informal L2 exposure, raises the learners’ metacognitive awareness and prepares them for more significant subsequent informal L2 engagement. I will then present the Netflix project and focus on individual learning trajectories (through analysis of learner blogs, questionnaire data and interviews) of four language students who had different prior experiences with Netflix (in both their first and second language) and differed in their approach of using LLN. Findings indicate that the intra-formal approach supported students develop individual learning and viewing preferences which strengthened their willingness to engage in recreational self-initiated and self-directed L2 viewing on Netflix.