captions · comprehension · RESEARCH · vocabulary development

Turn the Captions On

Every now and then I like to write notes to the FutureMe.  Essentially they’re a high-tech way of holding myself accountable in the future.  After reading “Using Captioned Media as Mentor Expository Texts” by Strassman, MacDonald, and Wanko this morning, I remembered something I long told my students’ parents to do.  TURN THE CAPTIONS ON when you’re watching TV at home.  The authors of this article cited eight research studies that confirmed the following:

The results of these studies show that captioned television aids the development of vocabulary and comprehension (2010, 197).

Therefore, I wrote a “note to self” this morning using the FutureMe service. I wrote:

Dear FutureMe,

Take the advice you gave to your students’ parents when you were a classroom teacher.  Be sure to turn the captions on so that TV watching is enhanced for Isabelle.  Multiple research studies confirm what you’ve known for years.  Comprehension and vocabulary development will increase by turning the captions on.  So… get the TV manuals out and figure out how to put the captions on today!

Warmest regards,

Stacey of March 2012

My letter will arrive in 2014 when Isabelle is three years old.  Until then, she shouldn’t be watching that much television, so I won’t be turning the captions on just yet.