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ESL learners improve their English skills with closed captioning

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The Importance of Adding Captions to Your Videos for ESL Learners

Did you know that one in five Americans speaks English as a second language? This means that more than 25 million people might not be able to understand every word spoken in a video they watch online. If you’re creating video content to reach a broad audience, you should consider adding captions to your videos to make them more accessible to ESL learners. By providing written words to match the spoken language in your video content, you can help ESL learners not only to understand your content better, but also become stronger and more proficient English speakers.

The benefits of closed captioning for ESL learners

Spelling

Closed captioning will not only increase the amount of visually represented language used, which will help ESL students’ spelling, but this group of learners has been shown to respond more favorably to closed captioning than to other, more conventional methods of spelling instruction.

Heteronyms and Homophones

A word (or words) that has the same spelling as another word (or words) but have a completely different meaning when spoken or used in a particular context is known as a heteroonym. The word tear can be pronounced either as teer or as tare, depending on whether it refers to wetness leaking from someone’s eye or a rip. Heteronyms are the antithesis of homophones; they are words with the same pronunciation but different spellings and meanings. The words to, two and too are the most prevalent examples of this phenomena.

It could be challenging for a non-native English speaker to recognize these multiple meanings and spelling variations. ESL viewers can better understand accurate pronunciation and spelling by being more familiar with the words by seeing them on the screen along with the video, which gives contextual cues and links a word’s pronunciation to its spelling.

Syntax

The arrangement of words in a phrase is referred to as its syntax. One of the hardest things for ESL students to learn is syntax because it differs so much from language to language. It can be quite beneficial to use closed captions to aid pupils in understanding syntax. This brings up the importance of visual and aural representations of English linguistic patterns once more. Students can better comprehend why English syntax functions the way it does by comparing the flow of the written and spoken languages.

Next: How can deaf students learn together with normal students?

 

Vocabulary

One of the most difficult parts of learning any language, but especially English, is developing one’s vocabulary. Since many terms in English have been adapted from other languages, many of them defy accepted usage and pronunciation conventions. Learning terms like science or strange doesn’t benefit from the rule “I before e unless after c” The greatest way to learn words like these is through exposure and experience, and captions help viewers develop visual patterns for a language as they come across those words in everyday speech. Giving non-native speakers the chance to hear and observe words in use improves their memory for them.

The fact that your films may contain many terminology that are unfamiliar to ESL audiences if they deal with a specific subject matter makes things more difficult. Including closed captions will enable those viewers to look up and translate any unfamiliar words without worrying about spelling them incorrectly and missing the meaning.

Idioms

Idioms are collections of words that together have a meaning that cannot be inferred from the parts. Idioms are cultural artifacts that are used often in various languages, including English. When it’s pouring fiercely, people will remark it’s raining cats and dogs or at the drop of a hat to signify that something was done right away. Idioms must be regarded as separate vocabulary words when people are learning English for the first time because translating those expressions word-for-word into another language would fail to convey their meaning. To that aim, it has been demonstrated that using closed captions to show idiomatic expressions in visual form can aid ESL students in understanding and remembering these expressions.

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