CA P T I O N S F O R L I T E R A C Y
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July 18, 2011
Learning to Read with Free TV Captions
As you know, not all learning takes place in schools. To really help learners bridge the achievement gap, occasionally we need to look to outside sources such as free TV captions that can help many children learn to read, especially when we have under privileged or ESOL children who can’t read but who do watch a lot of TV. Summer is the perfect time to get learners used to TV captions.
Free TV Captions Help Millions. In a brief video, former President Bill Clinton, at his Clinton Global Initiative, praises the use of same language subtitles that have taught 150 million in India to read from television. See the Clinton video that comes up as you open www.captionsforliteracy.org along with a short video of a boy learning to read and write with free TV captions.
The Reading Achievement Gap For Blacks & Hispanics. The NAEP test results show that about 25% of all 4th graders fail to read at the basic level. When NAEP results are analyzed by ethnicity or language, over 50% of black and Hispanic students fail to read at the basic level by the 4th grade. These are often the same kids that later are refused by charter schools or want to drop out of high school.
How TV Captions Help Learning To Read. Free TV captions create an unrivaled opportunity for learners to connect hearing the spoken word with seeing the printed word in the context of the action unfolding on the screen to explain and reinforce the meaning. When the average child watches television 4 to 7 hours a day, turning on the free TV captions provides thousands of hours a year for millions of students, especially ESOL students, right now, over the summer, to enhance their classroom learning by practicing reading at home.
Not More Television, But Better Television With TV Captions Of course free TV captions are only a supplement, not a substitute, for credentialed instructors. We know too that TV captions cannot substitute for the warmth of a family member reading to a child. But when there is no family member available to read to their kids, where there is only a single parent with two jobs and little free time or where a foreign language is spoken at home because the adults cannot yet read English or where the reading skills of the family are shaky, other help is urgently needed.
How Teachers Can Use TV Captions To use TV captions in classrooms, teachers can assign age-appropriate programs to their students to be watched with TV captions as homework for further study in later classes. Though TV captions are free for viewers, we appreciate that they are expensive for producers. It seems scandalous to squander the price producers pay to provide TV captions free to viewers but not to tell learners of their educational power.
Federal Legislation Is In Place, The Research Has Been Done. As you know, since January 2006, federal mandates, initially for the deaf, require free TV captions to be available in the US 20 out of 24 hours a day (generally not between 2am and 6am) on virtually all programs on almost all stations. Over 25 years of rigorous scientific studies validate the effectiveness of TV captions for learning to read. For a list of such studies, see www.captionsforliteracy.org at the Research on Captions tab.
How To Turn On TV Captions. Free TV captions can be turned on with a click of the CC button, if there is one on the remote control, or, if not, by the use of the set’s menu. Using the television’s menu often needs a reader to plow through menu choices. An FCC website also has instructions on how to turn on TV captions with menus.
How You Can Help. We urge you to harness your formidable platform to alert children, families, teachers and caregivers to the near universal availability of free TV captions. Or you can help by having the enclosed posters copied (or revised) to be distributed and displayed. If you could provide us videos, blogs or other input or feedback for our website about TV captions and learning to read, we would be most grateful.
We do not ask for money. We have no products to sell. As a modestly funded charity run by volunteers, we count on your help to spread the word to families, students, teachers, colleagues and supporters about this priceless free resource.
With great appreciation for your support of literacy!
FREE TV CAPTIONS
TRANSFORM YOUR TELEVISION
INTO A READING RESOURCE
Who do you know who needs help learning to read?
Opening the closed TV captions creates an unrivalled opportunity to connect the sound of the spoken word with the sight of the printed word in the context of the picture and the action unfolding on the screen to explain and reinforce the meaning of the words. It’s like having the story read aloud.
See a brief video of former President Bill Clinton praising same language subtitles, SLS, to teach millions in India to read. His video comes up as you open www.captionsforliteracy.org along with a short video of a boy learning to read and write with TV captions. SLS are comparable to TV captions in the US.
Now you can turn on the priceless free resource of TV captions with a touch of the CC button on the remote control or with the use of the television’s menu. Since January 2006 by federal mandate, TV captions are available 20 out of 24 hours a day (usually not between 2am & 6am) every day all year long on virtually all programs on all broadcast and cable stations. You need only to turn them on.
Give it a try. Best of all TV captions are absolutely free!
For Extra Help at Home,
Free TV Captions for Reading Practice
When a student wants to practice reading the printed word, where is the easiest place to find unlimited help?
Right in your television set when you turn on the TV captions. TV captions become your free reading tutor.
TV captions create a wonderful chance for a learner to connect the sound of the spoken word with the sight of the printed word in the context of the action on the screen to explain and reinforce the meaning of the words.
It’s almost like having the story read aloud.
Since January 2006, by federal mandate, TV captions are available in homes and everywhere else 20 out of 24 hours a day (usually not between 2am & 6am) every day all year long on virtually all programs on all broadcast and cable stations.
Over 25 years of research has validated the concept that TV captions can help learning to read, see the list of research articles at www.captionsforliteracy.org.
Now that the research has been done and the federal laws are in place, you can turn on the priceless free resource of TV captions with a touch of the CC button on the remote control or by the use of the television’s menu.
Give it a try yourself. TV captions are free for viewers!