It is well established that input plays a major role in the second language (L2) acquisition process. Audio-visual input such as television (TV) and video can be considered a particularly rich source of L2 input. It not only exposes learners to authentic language use, but the combination of different input modes such as imagery and audio may also stimulate various aspects of second language learning such as comprehension or vocabulary. Given its multimodal characteristics as well as its overall availability and easy accessibility, it is not surprising that researchers have increased attention on investigating the potential of this type of medium for foreign-language learning.
Along with co-editor Maribel Montero Perez for KU Leuven, Belgium, Michael Rodgers set out to put together a special issue that addresses some of the shortcomings in previous research into video and language learning: the issue provides data on the effects of both longitudinal and shorter viewing sessions and for different types of outcomes, namely grammar, vocabulary, eye-movements, and learner attitudes. In addition, the studies shed light on the role of different types of materials including video-only, video with L1 subtitles, captions, as well as textually enhanced captions, and the potential of different TV genres (TV-series, films, documentaries, and animated videos). Maribel and Michael hope that this special issue will stimulate further research on video and language learning and will provide teachers as well as students and researchers with interesting ideas for classroom practice and future research.