Monthly Archives: July 2013

Can Watching TV Help Improve Literacy Skills?

July 30,2013

The American Academy of Pediatrics encourages parents to minimize screen time. We agree: far too many children watch excessive amounts of TV.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if parents could just throw a switch to turn all that TV time into educational time? Wait! There is just such a switch and it is a standard feature on many of today’s televisions. It is called the closed captioning or subtitles feature.

Research shows that subtitles and captions offer many benefits including helping with word identification and meaning. Subtitles help pre-readers become more familiar with the printed word so by the time they are asked to read printed material at least some words are more familiar to them. Furthermore, subtitles and captions can help readers improve comprehension compared to watching TV without them.

So, next time you permit your children to watch a mindless show on television, switch on closed captioning — and turn on their minds as well.