Reading Rockets encourages captions for diverse learners

Wednesday, 10 March 2010 15:20pm

Reading Rockets is a United States government funded program that is part of a public community television station. Its mission is to help parents, teachers, principals and librarians keep up to date with developments in reading and digital literacy. The recently posted article, Captioned Media: Literacy Support for Diverse Learners (from the National Center for Technology Innovation) shows that the use of captions benefits a range of diverse learners.

MAA strongly encourages the provision of captions on DVD and online content as this provides equity in the education process for students who are Deaf or hearing impaired. The article examines how a surge of recent studies have suggested that captioned titles also benefit a wide variety of learners, from beginning readers, struggling readers and those from an English as a Second Language (ESL) background. This should provide further impetus for production companies to take action on access. It is apparent that the current market for captioned material has further potential.

The article outlines the benefits to struggling readers, which include an increase in reading speed, leading to increased vocabulary, vocabulary acquisition and comprehension levels. The same benefits have been found in studies looking at the role of captioned media when learning foreign languages. Student engagement has been shown to increase as it helps remove the anxiety often associated with learning another language.

For further information on Reading Rockets programs and initiatives, visit the Reading Rockets homepage.


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