Top 12 of 2012 #5 - teachers championing captions for all students

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Friday, 7 December 2012 14:27pm

Our annual CAP THAT! campaign asking teachers nationwide to turn on captions for literacy and inclusion for all students this year recruited almost 400 teachers committed to using captions in their schools.

By turning on captions by default on audiovisual resources used in the classroom, teachers can boost literacy for all their students, particularly those with learning disabilities or with a language background other than English, and ensure that their Deaf or hearing impaired students – often too embarrassed to request captions – are included in the learning process.

Literacy Coordinator and Captions Champion at St Clare of Assisi Primary School in the ACT, Tiffany Reedy, said, “Captions provide me with another teaching method I can use to improve learning outcomes around literacy. It’s something I hadn’t thought much about previously but since being a Captions Champion I’ve started to seek out educational videos with captions, and in doing so I’ve seen benefits for every student in the class.”

As captions link text to spoken words, they boost literacy, general comprehension skills, reading speed and vocabulary. For diverse learners they provide an alternative way of understanding and reinforce the information presented verbally. Captions also aid language uptake, including word recognition and vocabulary acquisition for the 17 per cent of Australian students with a language background other than English.

Senator Ursula Stephens, Patron of CAP THAT!, won the 2012 Roma Wood Community Award at the Deafness Forum of Australia Captioning Awards for her efforts in promoting the campaign.

She said, “As a former teacher I understand that every single class is made up of a diverse learning group, whether those needs are obvious or not. One way to ensure the needs of all your students are met is to switch on captions when audiovisual resources are part of the lesson.”

Thousands of teachers also downloaded our free resources such as lesson plans that incorporate captions.

“It has been inspiring to see educators from all over Australia committing to using captions and the impact in schools as a result,” said Senator Stephens. “The powerful difference that every teacher can make with such a simple tool is extraordinary.”

CAP THAT! will be back in 2013 to recruit more Captions Champions. Follow @cap_that on Twitter or sign up to news alerts to stay updated.

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