Cell Phone Music Video Subtitles Enhance Language Learning

An October 30th, 2010 Boston Globe article describes research in India on (low-cost) subtitling of music videos that shows — if the subtitles are in the _same_ language as the spoken/sung dialogue — this enhances basic literacy in that language.


In many parts of the world low-income people watch these popular videos, including on their (inexpensive Chinese-made) mobile phones capable of showing broadcast TV.

This is not an endorsement of these phones, but here is a web page of some examples.


Along the same lines, below is a post from the LINCS Technology list about Tunewiki, on subtitling songs on mobile phones:

Date: Wed, 5 Jan 2011 11:35:20 -0600
From: “Van Gravlee”van@cyberjoes.com>>
Subject: [Tech & DL 2971] ESOL
To: The Technology and Distance Learning Discussion

I just stumbled on what I think is a promising tool for ESOL and other literacy instruction —

see it at http://tunewiki.com

The program displays lyrics as a song is played — the lyrics can be in one of 40 languages — the songs can be of any language — more obscure songs will not have lyrics available — but it did great with my eclectic collection

There is an app for almost any cell phone (must be able to use JAVA for the lower end phones) — or for desktop browsers.

There is an iphone / ipad / ipod game — lyric legend in which the user clicks on words as they are being sung to get points. – app is free, have to buy the songs from them – @ 99 cents each

I will use the tunewiki to listen to Spanish broadcasts on my iphone toggling to see the English and Spanish versions of the lyrics — I think this could be far more immediate and motivating than subtitled movies for learning English, or in my case Spanish, or maybe Serbian

Van Gravlee

One Response to “Cell Phone Music Video Subtitles Enhance Language Learning”

  1. djrosen Says:

    You are welcome to share this blog with other readers.

    David J. Rosen

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