TV Home Forum

Turn on the Subtitles campaign

Call for permanent subtitles on children's TV to improve reading

This site closed in March 2021 and is now a read-only archive
BR
Brekkie
This is quite interesting - a campaign has been launched for parents to turn on the subtitles when watching kids TV to double their chances of being a good reader, with some calls for subtitles to permanently be added to all programmes aimed at 6-10 year old.

Interesting idea - at the very least ensuring subtitles are available on all kids TV can only be a good thing.

https://www.itv.com/news/2021-03-01/celebrities-including-stephen-fry-and-sandi-toksvig-join-call-for-subtitles-to-be-turned-on-for-childrens-tv
HC
Hatton Cross
'Permanently be added'
I don't quite follow this. Is it that all Childrens programmes aimed at the 6-10 age range, that subtitles will be 'burnt on' the bottom of the screen, or does it mean that all programme will be produced with subtitles and it's up to the parents/guardians to switch them on?

I prefer the latter option.
It's bad enough seeing videos with the subtitles burnt on meant for social media wandering around the linear landscape - i've bitched about some adverts with subtitles on here before, moaning that the advertiser is too tight to pay for two versions, one television and one for social media - so in a way, the target audience are already consuming videos whilst their eyeline is automatically drawn towards the bottom of the screenframe.

Plus, subtitles are really supposed to be an inclusion aid for those who are deaf or have a hearing impedement, not an educational aid because someone thinks kids are watching too much television and not reading enough and that would solve the problem.
BBI45, MarkT76 and Ittr gave kudos
NJ
Neil Jones Founding member
I don't understand this argument, if there is a need to improve reading, we have these things called books and if people complain about the cost of books, we have these amazing places called libraries which will lend you books for free! Wow!

(public libraries lend for free at least)
Last edited by Neil Jones on 2 March 2021 2:26pm
TE
Technologist
Can I just point out that in the uk subtitles are “subtitles “ not “subtitles for the hard of hearing”
And that regulatory action was started within 20 mins of one PSB doing so.....
...... and they instructed their code and mux contractor very promptly.

The BBC have used subtitles as a reading aid for the uptake of the Welsh language ....
These were burnt in because teletext does not support the welsh character set.
And it was in mid-late 1970s when there was little Ceefax and even less teletext subtitles
But all Timed Texts support Welsh and obviously DVB ST being a bit map can.

I hope the intent is to mandate that say over 95% If children’s programmes are subtitled
Using closed captioning .
As they are regularly repeated the Amortised cost of doing so is low.

The next thing should be to use the AD track as a commentary.....
but thus may be see as removing the parent in the room
viewing and pointing out things to the child....
This was one use very preliminarily trialed as part of the AUDTEL project ...
With the aim of aiding children with developmental or learning difficulties
BR
Brekkie
I don't understand this argument, if there is a need to improve reading, we have these things called books and if people complain about the cost of books, we have these amazing places called libraries which will lend you books for free! Wow!

(public libraries lend for free at least)

I think the idea is you do it subsconciously with subtitles as the content is there in audio too. I agree with Hatton Cross that I wouldn't want to see burnt on subtitles become the norm, but I do get where they're coming from. It used to work when I was learning Welsh at school, but then if it was really effective half the BBC4 audience would be fluent in Danish and Swedish now as well.
MarkT76 and Hatton Cross gave kudos
AM
Alfie Mulcahy
I don't understand this argument, if there is a need to improve reading, we have these things called books and if people complain about the cost of books, we have these amazing places called libraries which will lend you books for free! Wow!

(public libraries lend for free at least)
...but then if it was really effective half the BBC4 audience would be fluent in Danish and Swedish now as well.



Children can pick up languages much better than Adults. That's why this'll help. I do agree that it should be an option to turn on and off however, but there should be more information telling parents how beneficial it is.
bilky asko, MarkT76 and Brekkie gave kudos
TI
TIGHazard
I don't understand this argument, if there is a need to improve reading, we have these things called books and if people complain about the cost of books, we have these amazing places called libraries which will lend you books for free! Wow!

(public libraries lend for free at least)

I think the idea is you do it subsconciously with subtitles as the content is there in audio too. I agree with Hatton Cross that I wouldn't want to see burnt on subtitles become the norm, but I do get where they're coming from. It used to work when I was learning Welsh at school, but then if it was really effective half the BBC4 audience would be fluent in Danish and Swedish now as well.


Not really, it's something to do with the fact we can't really learn language that way after a certain age. (If you watched nothing but Swedish programming it would work, but not using two languages at once).
NJ
Neil Jones Founding member
Yes, if you want to learn French or German or whatever once you grow up when your native tongue is English, it's considerably harder than it would be if you were single digit age. I studied French at GCSE level, didn't have a clue (neither did the rest of the class in all honesty), didn't really like it and surprised myself when I somehow managed to get a Grade C in it. I suspect I could have scribbled whatever the French is for "b*llocks" across the exam paper and still get an F.

It can be done as an adult, learning a second language, you just can't use the methods that work for children, as they have nothing to fight against. You do. If you want your kid to be able to speak four languages, immerse them in it while they're still young. As an adult you have to put a heck of a lot more legwork in.
william, AndrewPSSP and Brekkie gave kudos
HC
Hatton Cross
Another practical issue with the effectiveness, is that whilst it seems a good idea to have subtitles for Childrens programming to help reading, knowledge of the English language (even if this cause could be 'hijacked' by various passing bandwaggon twitter and psuedo-political groups) and diction, it's not the correct way to teach it.

When I was learning French as school back in the day, you watched the video, read the subtitles, you then recited the line back in the gap left in the video.

I can't help thinking some advocating this, think putting subtitles on programmes, and children will learn a richer knowledge of the English language in this way. It won't. Unless they have great use of the pause button on the remote control.

It has to be a certain type of programming as well for it to work, rather than a blanket smothering of every type of programming.
Blue Peter would tick a lot of boxes in the reguard - but that already has subtitles.

I'm not sure just what can really be learnt by reading the script on the bottom of the screen of old editions of Tracy Beeker or Fireman Sam.
NJ
Neil Jones Founding member
I'm not sure just what can really be learnt by reading the script on the bottom of the screen of old editions of Tracy Beeker or Fireman Sam.


What can be learnt from Fireman Sam is being a fireman is a cushy well paid job, you live in a big naff off house, you get to drive around in a big red truck all day, occasionally put out a small fire in two seconds and fix all of the village's problems in the space of a day, then be able to clock off at 4pm. If fiction looked anything like the reality we wouldn't have a firefighter shortage, lets put it that way Wink
JO
Jonwo

What can be learnt from Fireman Sam is being a fireman is a cushy well paid job, you live in a big naff off house, you get to drive around in a big red truck all day, occasionally put out a small fire in two seconds and fix all of the village's problems in the space of a day, then be able to clock off at 4pm. If fiction looked anything like the reality we wouldn't have a firefighter shortage, lets put it that way Wink


What I learnt from Fireman Sam is that PontyPandy has more fires and accidents per week than the average rural Welsh village does in a year!
PA
Parker
Jonwo posted:

What can be learnt from Fireman Sam is being a fireman is a cushy well paid job, you live in a big naff off house, you get to drive around in a big red truck all day, occasionally put out a small fire in two seconds and fix all of the village's problems in the space of a day, then be able to clock off at 4pm. If fiction looked anything like the reality we wouldn't have a firefighter shortage, lets put it that way Wink


What I learnt from Fireman Sam is that PontyPandy has more fires and accidents per week than the average rural Welsh village does in a year!

Should call it Midsomer Very Happy

Newer posts