Improve Literacy By Using Captions and Subtitles

Improve Literacy Using Captions and Subtitles

Improve Literacy Using Captions and Subtitles.

Educators are aware that adding closed captions to video course materials improves test scores and academic performance for all students, not only those with disabilities. For example, Robert Keith Collins, an Assistant Professor of American Indian Studies at San Francisco State University, discovered that when he included closed captions in course videos, his students’ grades increased on average by one full letter grade.

Apple Accessibility in Classroom

But even more fundamental is the ability to improve literacy using captions and subtitles.  A randomized controlled trial examined the impacts of captions on reading comprehension skills of secondary school students in Kaneohe, Hawaii.  Students using captioned media scored significantly higher than students in the comparison condition.

Studies clearly indicate that video captioning and subtitles can help improve:

  • Reading speed and fluency
  • Word knowledge
  • Vocabulary acquisition
  • Word recognition
  • Listening comprehension
Captions Improve Literacy
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How Important are Captions?

“A small thing that has a staggering impact on people’s lives.” – Bill Clinton

This video features former President Bill Clinton recognizing the value of captions (described here as same-language subtitling).

A Neilsen and PlanetRead research study found that the use of subtitles on TV doubled the number of functional early-age readers.

Tips To Improve Literacy Using Captions and Subtitles

  • Entertaining, brief videos tend to have less challenging vocabulary and your students will still receive the literacy benefits of reading while listening.
  • Providing information both textually and through the use of video is engaging for students.
  • Consider recommending that students and their parents turn on captions or subtitles at home to maximize exposure to reading.

Benefits of Closed Captioning Requirements

  • Adherence to Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act.
  • Making videos accessible to English as a 2nd language (ESL) viewers.
  • Creating searchable video content.
  • Increase student engagement through an interactive experience.
  • Using keywords improve content discovery for better learning outcomes.
  • Organizing and managing captioning initiatives across departments/campus.

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Nicole E. Flynn, CMO at cielo24, is deeply interested in exploring and communicating the ways in which Artificial Intelligence (AI) intersects with various aspects of our daily lives. She is passionate about exploring the ways in which AI can be ethically harnessed to improve the quality of life and make our world a better place. Nicole seeks to educate and inform audiences about the potential of AI technology and how it can be used to drive innovation and growth.