Thursday, November 12, 2009

Subtitles for ELLs

Holger Mitterer and James M. McQueen have published a paper in PLoS ONE suggesting that if you're a learner of English, you should watch TV with English subtitles turned on. I regularly assign graded readers to students, and I suggest to those who read poorly (i.e., are slow and/or inaccurate at decoding individual words), and those with difficult-to-understand accents that they chose a reader that comes with a CD. I think this is basically the same process. In these learners, there's either no link between phonology and meaning & orthography (spelling), or the phonological representation is faulty. This paper shows that there are benefits to linking them together.

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