Australian Lefty on Politics, Governance, Science and Info Management

Literacy and DVDs

Posted by Dave Bath on 2008-02-15

A few years back, as DVDs became popular, I started recommending to parents that by default, they have subtitles turned on, as a means of improving spelling.

Since then, I’ve discovered that (Google’s philanthropic arm) have been a major player in a literacy program for PlanetRead’s SLS (Same Language Subtitling) work, that funds captioning to improve literacy, for example, Hindi subtitling of films shown in villages to reach adults that cannot attend school because of work or advanced age.

An extension of this for older children might be to have active engagement using live-captioned programs, playing a game that gives brownie points (with occasional concrete rewards) for picking up errors in news items, such as “a national pole release today says …”.

It may also be worthwhile to occasionally have foreign subtitles turned on to introduce foreign languages – while the speed and elision of speakers may be difficult to interpret, the subtitles can introduce foreign vocabulary because etymology and spelling is preserved across PIE languages much more than the sound of words.


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