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“Why do you make transcripts when the closed captions are included?”

“Why do you make transcripts when the closed captions are included?”

People ask me why I make transcripts when the closed captions are included.

First of all, even now — a lot of good authentic content on youtube (e.g. live interviews with very natural speech) still has captions that have a high enough density of errors to be useless for advanced learners. Usually the things that learners can’t catch are the same things that the captions also make errors on.

Secondly, I’ve seen students make EXTENSIVE notes on printed transcripts. When I see that someone has enjoyed the content and has spent time to drill into the language and comes back with questions, this makes me happy. It’s ‘a sweet spot’ in that this one small tweak in delivery can make a big difference in learner uptake / engagement.

Even as a learner myself working with news clip in French, for example, there is a difference between SEEING the word flash by on the screen vs being able to INTERACT with a text via translating, making notes, reading whole sentences.

So, to sum up, there are quite a few reasons why 100% accurate (human-edited) transcripts are important and why having it on a page makes it just that much easier for learners to use as self-study material.