SLMS Academic Careers Office

Grand Challenges

23. Television subtitling for deaf and hearing-impaired viewers: a route to improve English language skills for UK migrants with normal hearing

Supervisor Pair: Professor Bencie Woll and Dr Jorge Diaz-Cintas
Potential Student’s Home Department: PaLS/DCAL

A major concern in relation to migrants is the development of English language skills and of acculturation to British society. Television has a powerful role to play in both of these. There is evidence from several studies that use of television subtitling can enhance literacy skills in deaf and hearing-impaired viewers – both children and adults. The proposed project will explore the current and potential use of television subtitling to support the development of spoken English and English literacy in migrants to the UK with normal hearing. The first stage will explore current uses of subtitling by migrants and attitudes to subtitling and the development of English language skills; the second stage will develop an intervention programme in conjunction with a small number of migrant advisory groups and FE colleges offering English language courses for migrants. Skills in English and acculturation/identity ratings will be measured both before and after intervention for comparison with non-users of subtitling. Feedback from users will form part of a guidance document for subtitlers and for those involved in English language education for migrants.This project is unique in applying provision for the deaf community to a wider population and combines expertise in subtitling (Diaz-Cintas) and deaf people’s language development and literacy (Woll).