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Expert reveals why parents should turn on TV subtitles for kids

Expert reveals why parents should turn on TV subtitles for kids

It follows new research into the impact subtitles can have on children

An expert has revealed why parents should turn on subtitles for their kids while watching TV, following new research.

Many people do all they can to reduce their kids’ screen time, whether it’s insisting that they sit nicely at the pub when all they want to do is watch Bluey on your phone, or refusing to give them a TV in their bedroom as they get older.

But technology is, of course, an inevitable part of life these days, whether we like it or not.

And it turns out that it could even be beneficial if we embrace the modern era – specifically, by turning TV subtitles on.

Parents are being urged to make this small change.
Getty stock photo

Henry Warren, co-founder of the Turn on the Subtitles campaign, believes parents should switch on the captions when kids are watching something as it gives them a chance to boost their literary skills.

It follows research that doing precisely that could double the chances of children leaving school as proficient readers.

Warren told The Times: “Turning on the subtitles can give children an opportunity to increase their vocabulary and help turn them into proficient readers.

“If you turn on the subtitles, then in just a year kids would ‘read’ the same number of words that are in all the Harry Potter, Narnia and Lord of the Rings books as well as everything Roald Dahl wrote.”

The research comes from education software maker Access Education, which found that showing youngsters popular TV shows like Peppa Pig and Paw Patrol with subtitles on improved the reading ability of those aged four to seven.

New research has found turning subtitles on could be hugely beneficial to kids.
Getty stock photo

Experts analysed transcripts from 1,000 episodes of well-known series, with Peppa Pig having the highest number of high frequency words.

A spokesperson for Access Education said: “Shows like Peppa Pig, Bing and Bluey could help children to become more confident in their reading, and, if watched with the subtitles, could double the chances of children leaving school as proficient readers.”

It follows the launch of a new initiative from the software platform’s Turn on the Subtitles campaign, fronted by celebrities including Jack Black, Stephen Fry, Sandi Toksvig and Lenny Henry.

Calling on 40 million households in the UK and US to turn on captions to improve children’s literacy, Access Education explained: “With the average child watching just over 3 hours and 15 minutes of TV a day, turning on the subtitles for the full year would amount to the same number of words being read that are in all of the Harry Potter series, the Narnia saga, the Lord of the Rings trilogy and Roald Dahl’s entire collection, combined. It’s that simple.”

Featured Image Credit: Getty stock image/Netflix

Topics: Parenting, Technology