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Media Accessibility Information, Guidelines and Research

On Screen Print: The Role of Captions as a Supplemental Literacy Tool

Children living in poverty are 1.3 times as likely as non-poor children to experience reading difficulties and lack key oral experiences that contribute to early literacy development. The purpose of this research was to study the effects of viewing commercially available educational television with closed captions. Overall, these results support the developing body of evidence that early readers can learn to read and gain a clearer understanding of new words while viewing existing children's educational programming with print on-screen. Interestingly, these results also suggest that television captioning increases attention to and subsequent comprehension of television content. If the goal is to help children learn to recognize and subsequently understand the meaning of new words as well as transfer specific literacy content into more generalized literacy skills, then turning the closed captions option on while children are watching television at home or in school is a good starting point. Reported in the Journal of Research in Reading in 2010 from research conducted by the University of Kansas and the University of Pennsylvania.

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Tags: research, captioning, literacy

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