Benefits of Closed Captioning for ESL/ELL

ESL stands for “English as a Second Language” whereas ELL means “English Language Learners”. Fundamentally, both of these groups do not speak English as their primary language. The distinction applies to the teaching methods used for both. ESL is a federally-funded program whereby students are pulled out of their general education classes in order to receive specialized instruction. ELL students are more mainstreamed in the educational path and do not receive intensive training outside of their general courses.

Roughly 10% of all students in the U.S. struggle with the English language and only 1% of all teachers are qualified to teach ESL/ELL. That means there is only one teacher for every 150 students in need.[1]

The answer is to give the teachers sufficient aids and resources. Video instructional format can expand instructional capabilities for overworked instructors. It can disseminate information to a larger audience of students at once.

Furthermore, closed-captioning functions for these types of video is not just for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing communities. The benefits of closed captioning for ESL and ELL students are substantial for the following reasons:

  1. English is a heavily nuanced language with subtle grammatical idiosyncrasies that can be incredibly difficult for an ESL/ELL learner to grasp. Oftentimes words mean completely different things yet sound identical. I.e. scent, cent, and sent all sound exactly the same phonetically.
  2. English is also steeped in difficult to grasp accents, syntax, slang, idioms, and regional dialects that vary greatly.
  3. Information retention and improved literacy are linked to closed-caption video instruction. A study commissioned by the National Captioning Institute found that using captioned science materials from the television program "3-2-1 Contact" with Asian and Hispanic seventh and eighth grade ESL students resulted in higher scores on tests of word knowledge and recall of science information.[2]

There is a very considerable need for literacy language instructional videos. If you are a producer of foreign language instructional content and videos, contact us today for a free consultation. We provide multi-language foreign subtitles and use native speakers for the highest quality.



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