SUPER STRATEGY #2: Turn on the Subtitles

Pressing the subtitle button on your remote control or streaming video player can make all the difference from students with hidden disabilities, difficulties with oral processing, and those distracted by environmental noises.

Super Strategy 2 - Turn on the Subtitles


There are a number of Super Strategies you can use together, increasing the effectiveness of your practice, while increasing student success.

What Makes it S.U.P.E.R.?

SUPER Strategies must be Simple (explained in ten words or less), Useful (don’t increase workload), Powerful (lead to deeper learning opportunities), Effective (impact student success), Repeatable (easily implemented in most situations).


Turn on the subtitles.


You will play movies in your classroom.  They may be full films off of a DVD, or a digital rental.  You may show clips from YouTube, or use TED talks.  When you are playing films students may become distracted, or have difficulty processing the information.  This can occur for a number of reasons:

  • Oral processing ability
  • Difficulty hearing
  • Distractions from unfocused peers
  • Poor speakers in the classroom

By turning on the subtitles you overcome the technical limitations of your sound system; you create an opportunity to engage and focus all students through the addictive nature of reading; you pre-accommodate all students regardless of hearing needs, and oral processing ability by presenting another way to engage with the information.


We are all programmed to read.  In fact, it can be impossible to not read when words are presented in front of you.  It’s for this reason that advertising is so powerful.  When you see a billboard your mind processes the text and takes in the meaning even if you’re not consciously trying to be influenced by the text.  By putting words in front of your students, they will be more focused on the materials you are presenting to them.


Many students have hidden disabilities.  Some may not even know they have a disability as they have come up with coping mechanisms that let them overcome their areas of need.  However, when we turn on the subtitles we accommodate the entire class from those with the strongest need to those who find themselves distracted by the sound of the HVAC system in your classroom.  By taking in the material, students will be better able to apply their skills to it post-viewing.


There are few things easier than simply pressing a button.  That’s all it takes to turn on the subtitles.  For a fraction of a second’s effort, you will see strong returns on your time investment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s