Live subtitling in an educational context

by Amaury De Meulder, University of Antwerp

Live subtitling for access to education: a pilot study of university students' reception of intralingual live subtitles

The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities identifies accessibility to education as one of the areas where accessibility should be ensured. At the University of Antwerp, accessibility services are offered to individual students with disabilities; however, the offer does not yet include the use of new technologies, which have a real potential to remove linguistic, physical and cultural barriers for a large and diverse student population. One such innovative technology is live subtitling, which makes lectures in large lecture halls more accessible to all students present: not only deaf and hard of hearing students, but also students whose mother tongue is not the language of the lecture.

The aim of this study is to investigate the reception of intralingual live subtitles in an educational setting in Flanders, and in particular the reception of intralingual live subtitles by first-year students attending a theoretical lecture in Dutch in a large lecture hall. As methodology a mixed-method approach is chosen: experiment and focus group. The experiment will consist of two lectures in Translation Studies in Dutch, partly with and partly without intralingual live subtitling, attended by 300-350 first-year students in Applied Linguistics and Language and Literature. Student reception (perception and performance) of the subtitles is examined via an online questionnaire. Two focus groups will be put together to collect additional qualitative data on the perception of the lectures with intralingual live subtitles.