Same language subtitling: a butterfly for literacy?
Same language subtitling (SLS) refers to the idea of subtitling motion media programmes (television and film) in the 'same' language as the audio. This simplest of additions in existing television programmes, especially film songs and music videos, can make a quantum contribution to the improvement of reading skills of over 325 million neo-literate people in India. Song videos are watched with great passion all over India, in every state and major language. Earlier work on SLS reported that it was found to enhance the entertainment value of televised songs for both literate and neo-literate viewers. This paper discusses a controlled experiment to 'measure' the impact of SLS on the reading skills of disadvantaged school children. The results confirm that SLS of film songs leads to reading skill improvement, thus reaffirming the enormous potential of this simple and economical approach for mass literacy skill development in India.
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