Captions boost inclusion during National Literacy and Numeracy Week

Monday, 29 August 2011 15:24pm

NSW Senator the Hon Ursula Stephens has today urged teachers to “turn captions on” in the classroom to boost literacy and inclusive learning as a start to National Literacy and Numeracy Week 2011, and as part of Media Access Australia’s CAP THAT! campaign.

Speaking at Toowong State School in Brisbane, a school with a high number of Deaf and hearing impaired students and where one in five students receive English as a Second Language (ESL) support, former teacher Senator Stephens called for educators around Australia to set captions to ON as standard practice in the classroom.

Senator Stephens said, “Over two decades of classroom teaching, I’ve seen the power and potential of captions for learning, stretching across the inclusion of hearing impaired students to other students as well. I’ve successfully used captioning with early learners, with students from non-English speaking backgrounds, in adult literacy classes, with visual learners and students who had learning difficulties.”

While captions are vital for people who are Deaf or hearing impaired, using them in educational settings can also boost general literacy and comprehension skills by linking written words to sounds and images. Teachers can apply this tool to help bridge the gap for the 600,000 ESL students in Australian schools and approximately 10,000 hearing impaired students studying in mainstream schools, while benefiting literacy and learning for all students.

“Captions are a simple, cost-effective and readily available resource. So turning the captions on is an inclusive practice that can and should become part of every classroom,” said the Senator.

The CAP THAT! competition open to Australian educators and the broader awareness campaign for 2011 will conclude this coming Monday, but the CAP THAT! website with teaching resources that include captions for learning and other general resources about captions will remain available.

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