We examined the dynamics of interstitial atoms and vacancies in amorphous Si (a-Si) and a-Ge films crystallized by flash lamp annealing in consideration of the self-diffusion coefficients of Si and Ge. We found that the interstitial atoms play an important role in the liquid-phase crystallization (LPC) of a-Si films, whereas the vacancies are more important for the solid-phase crystallization (SPC) of a-Si films along with the LPC and SPC of a-Ge films. For Si, the crystal defect density of the film crystallized by LPC was higher than that of the film crystallized by SPC; the opposite result was achieved for Ge. This phenomenon is considered to be attributed to the existence of interstitial atoms introduced in Si. The thermodynamic calculated results related to the relationship between the point defect and SPC or LPC supported the crystallization mechanism.