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Turn on the Subtitles

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by Startacus Admin

TOTS Turn on the subtitles
"If you want to teach a nation to read: Just turn on the subtitles". This simple advice might just help make kids become proficient readers...

Oli Barrett MBE, amongst many other things, co-founded StartUp Britain, Tenner, and social innovation agency Cospa. Tenner, for example (now run by Young Enterprise), has challenged over 250,000 school pupils to see what they can achieve in one month, starting with £10. Not that this article is about Oli Barrett, but just to make the point, that we take note of what he does and says about issues focused around employability, startups and education...

Step forward his recent Linkedin article, TOTS (Turn on the Subtitles), which highlights that '28% of all UK children are not meeting the levels required to be a proficient reader. But more worryingly that number rises to 45% if you focus on just the poorer households...'

But this simple life-hack apparently can make a potential big difference...

If you turn on the subtitles for children's’ TV programmes (particularly between the ages of 6 and 10) it DOUBLES their chance of becoming a proficient reader. 

"If you want to teach a nation to read: Just turn on the subtitles"

A few months ago Oli and fellow campaigner Henry Warren, discovered the work of an inspirational professional from Berkeley University, Brij Kothari, who said TOTS Turn on the subtitles If you want to teach a nation to read: Just turn on the subtitles"

Apparently there's mountains of data and studies to back all this up, and folk like Bill Clinton, Gordon Brown and Prof Robert Vanderplank, have all highlighted the very thing. 

Oli checked it out with the UK National Literacy Trust and based on the data, they came back and said they "would absolutely support automatic same-language subtitling on children’s TV programmes..."

So there you have it. Make sure to read Oli's full article and all his accredited sources, and feel free to share this article too. Of course, make your own mind up too. 

We look forward to reading where the TOTS campaign goes next... Cheers Oli.

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Published on: 14th August 2018

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