Captioning and Subtitling Benefit All Students for Increased Literacy

By Ann Mayes: For Complete Post, Click Here…

For many years, teachers of deaf/hard of hearing have advocated for teachers and administrators in the schools to turn on captions in order to make videos accessible to students.  Often captioning resources were unavailable, a hassle, or simply not a priority for classroom staff.  Within our schools, the benefits of closed captioning have primarily focused on the 0.1% of students who are deaf and hard of hearing and their need for captions in order to understand spoken language on videos and tv programs. There has been limited consideration for the larger population of students who benefit from seeing words on screens.  

In addition, the issue of access has become more apparent as more schools are using teacher-produced videos for flipped classroom instruction or are showing online videos resources from YouTube.  The CCs are simply not turned on, and if they are, the captions may be auto-generated which means they’re more distracting than helpful.  Closed captioning is a simple tool that may help improve the literacy skills for all students, both hearing and deaf/hard of hearing.

This article will focus on the benefits of captioning for all students and people of all ages.  Multiple research sources indicate that captions and subtitles offer advantages for increased literacy for almost 100% of students in grades kindergarten through twelfth, as well as those in college. With that information, more people might be inclined to seek out and encourage captioning or subtitling use in homes and schools. 

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