Did you know that turning on captions (CC) is a free and easy way for kids to read more and build skills?
It may sound too simple to work, but it does! The simple act of turning on Closed Captions (CC) can make your child a better, stronger, more engaged reader. It’s simple and effective yet most people are completely unaware of how this can help your child’s ability to read.
Students at Risk of Backsliding
With the COVID shutdown, experts predict that our kids are at risk of backsliding SIX months by the time school starts again. Yet, while the kids are out of school, their TV/video screen time in increasing; most kids spend 6+ hours a day glued to videos and TV. Studies show poor children spend more than 8 hours on recreational screen time and this was BEFORE the schools were closed.
TV Time Can Be Reading Time – Turn On Closed Captions!
It’s more critical than ever to find solutions. YOU can help stop that slide by encouraging kids to click the CC (Closed Caption) button and turn SCREEN time into READING time. The closed captioning system available on virtually every media channel will display the dialog of the program in realtime scrolling across the bottom of the picture. Reading and retention skills are enhanced through the reinforcement of image, sound, and movement.
Virtually every media channel, cable network, and broadcast network offers Closed Captioned, so it’s easy to watch a movie, show, or event and turn on captions. The caption control is usually found in the “settings” area of the channel, or as a “CC” icon below a playing video. For schools, it’s always important to caption your teaching videos for students and parents with disabilities and because watching videos with captions can help improve retention and comprehension. Systems like SchoolTube offer integrated closed captioning and safe video hosting and sharing for K12 schools.
The Impact of Watching with Captions is Tremendous!
Your kids will quickly adapt to it, reading the equivalent of 30 pages for every 30 minutes of screen time with captioning on. That can add up to 300 pages a week by using captions for just an hour a day. Here are a few quotes from the researchers about the literacy benefits of using closed captions:
- “Watching videos with audio and captions leads to significantly better reading skills. Children who watch captioned videos are better able to define content words that were heard in the videos, pronounce novel words, recognize vocabulary items, and draw inferences about what happened in the videos.” – Gernsbacher 2015
- “Of the many uses of captioned video in the development of literacy skills, vocabulary learning appears to be one of the most valuable. The combination of the video action with spoken dialogue and printed words is a powerful tool in learning to read” – Koskinen et al 1993
- “Early readers can learn to read and gain a clearer understanding of new words while viewing programming with print on the screen. Television captioning increases attention to and subsequent comprehension of television content” – Linebarger/Piotrowski 2010
See more of the research here; Closed Captioning Resource Guide.
The technology is simple, and found in every home, just clicking the button will make a big difference in how much and how well your child reads this year.
Introducing CAPTION COOL!
To help build excitement and make closed caption a habit, we are introducing a family of characters, who will help motivate you and your kids to be part of the movement to Be. CAPTION.COOL. Check out our latest Caption Cool video and visit the Caption Cool website for more resources and information on using closed captioning to increase reading skills.
Watch for our next blog on SchoolTube with more information and resources for the CAPTION.COOL initiative.
Kids Read Now CEO
Reading Evangelist and CC Reading Champion