Helping Children Read with Captions

by | Jun 10, 2021

Stephen Fry, an English actor, comedian, writer, broadcaster, and director, also known for his narration of Harry Potter books, has an essential question to ask: What takes ten seconds, costs nothing but could help change your child’s life forever?



Fry answers this important question with five simple words: Just turn on the subtitles.

 This issue is so meaningful to Fry that together with Sandi Toksvig and other celebrities, they are endorsing a campaign arguing for subtitles to always be turned on to improve children’s reading.


According to the website, Turn on the Subtitles (TOTS), turning on subtitles can actually double the chances of a child improving at reading. The following statistic, found on their homepage is certainly convincing: “Based on an academic study of 2,350 children, 34% became good readers with schooling alone. But when exposed to 30 minutes a week of subtitled film songs, that proportion more than doubled to 70%.”

Additionally, TOTS has done extensive research in the areas of Same Language Subtitling (SLS)/captioning audio-visual content in the ‘same’ language as the audio, whereby the words on the screen match up with audio presented. TOTS has an entire page dedicated to research, supporting the theory that exposure to captions assists in reading development and language acquisition. Net out: Turn on the Subtitles!

Erica Mason, who writes for Scary Mommy, a community of millions of women supporting each other through parenthood, tells moms: In order to feel less guilty about our kiddos watching TV, we can #turnonthesubtitles. A new organization called…well… Turn On The Subtitles, is here to help your kiddos learn and make you feel less guilty about screen time. That’s a heck of an endorsement!

It’s not surprising that teachers like Mrs. Wyllie concur.



All of this is well and good, but . . . if the captions are not accurate and/or sync’ed with the audio (think Karaoke), the above-mentioned benefits won’t be derived to the same degree. And THAT is where we come in!

Empire Caption Solutions provides your videos’ viewers with an inclusive experience and equal access to information with 99% accurate captions and subtitles. The better the captions, the better the experience. Work with ECS to create beautiful captions that speak to your audience and stay within your budget. Check out our service offerings on our website. You can also contact us to learn more about adding captions, subtitles, and other accessibility options to your videos.






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