Educational Uses

The Educational Value of Reading Captions

Numerous research studies have shown that captioned television provides a successful learning environment for deafand hard of hearing students. Research has also shown that the benefits of captioned television extend to hearing students, including those with special educational needs.

Just by watching captioned TV, young children who are learning to read are able to significantly improve their reading skills, people learning English can improve their language and vocabulary skills, and inexperienced readers and illiterate adults can augment their reading abilities.

When television programming is viewed with the captions displayed, household members can enjoy the many educational benefits of captioning.

  • On average, kids spend over 30 hours a week watching television. By turning on captions, parents can turn those entertainment hours into learning hours. A 1984 NCI study showed that hearing youngsters who watched captioned TV were able to significantly improve their vocabulary and oral reading fluency. While children are watching cartoons, videos and sitcoms, they can also be reading the captions.
  • Numerous studies on teaching English as a Second Language and actual accounts relayed by ESL instructors have all come to the same conclusion: captioned television improves reading and listening comprehension, vocabulary, word recognition and overall motivation to read among students who are learning English as a second language.
  • For children and adults with learning disabilities, captioned television helps improve comprehension as well as increasing self-confidence. Prior preparation, including class discussion and related hand-out materials coupled with captions that highlighted important key words resulted in the overall highest performance.