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Linguaholic

Children's Shows In Other Languages


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Maybe this is something only I do, but has anyone ever watched a children's show in another language to help learn it?  It seems that if English-speaking kids can learn words and letters and such from Sesame Street, then shows like it should be able to teach us adults.  Sometimes I can catch on to what the characters are talking about, but sometimes I'm totally lost.  Thoughts?

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I've tried that a couple of time and I have to be honest with you, it definitely works. I personally think that it's a good way to develop your listening skills since you're mostly going to be listening to basica vocabulary which will be easy to understand in some way, however, it doesn't mean that you have to skip the normal series or movies, you still have to try the hard way to balance your abilities. That's my opinion though.

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I've never actively sought it our but I have come across a few children's shows in Spanish in the past and it helped me learn words that I still know today years later because of it and I wasn't even really trying to learn Spanish so I would say that it definitely would help since having something visual like a children's show can probably make the lesson and experience a little more memorable and also because they put it as simply as possible it's much less confusing and intimidating. 

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I've come across a few over the years but it would be a case where I'm searching through channels and caught bits and pieces of this type of show. I would watch and listen to test my knowledge and memory especially if it was French or Spanish to see if I could relate to what was being said. Some things I'd catch, others were a blur, lol. They are pretty helpful, not only do they entertain children but it teaches them a thing or two and trust and believe, they're grasping information while enjoying the programmes. The more they watch those programmes the more their brains are programmed (punny) to retain the language. I don't particularly like children watching too much television but these educational programmes helps to prepare them for school along with the parents' training.

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No, I haven't watched any children's show in another language to learn that language. What I have done is watch the native speakers speaking to each other to learn their language. I remember when I first went to work in Thailand. Every evening, I would have dinner at a restaurant which also had singers to entertain the diners. I would invite two of the singers to join me for dinner. Why two? Well, at that time, I couldn't speak Thai yet, so if I were just to invite one singer to join me for dinner, it would end up like a hen and duck show. So, with two singers, I can just sit back, enjoy my dinner and listen to them talking. Of course, at that time, I didn't understand most of what they said. However, my first objective was to capture the flow of the language. When I could follow the flow of the language, it becomes easier for me to learn to speak the language.

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I haven't yet started watching children's shows in the language I'm learning because getting hold of them is quite hard especially when you don't even know what you are looking for. But as @OP points out, kids can learn a lot from these shows and I've noticed that children whose first language is not English also get to learn how to pronounce words correctly the more they watch cartoons.

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Another point is that, where I'm from, not all early childhood schools offer foreign languages as part of their core curriculum. So with the children being encouraged to watch such programmes at home, they're learning extra skills and gives them more advantage compared to children that are unexposed to foreign languages. My basic school didn't offer foreign languages unfortunately but high school was where I was formally taught French and Spanish.

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Never watched a children's show, but have tried watching tv shows and movies in other languages that I was trying to learn. They actually do help. So, I am guessing watching a children's show would be helpful as well. In fact, its one of the best techniques, if you can study the language in parallel.

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Personally, I have not tried watching children's show for the purpose of learning a language because I find it really slow for my age given that there are many other options for learning. However, that style works for children and my little son got interested to learn Spanish because he used to watch Dora the Explorer. 

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I think this is a great way for kids to learn a foreign language, by watching foreign shows, most of these shows are educational, they teach children things in a fun way which is always good. Parents will have to look for programs that are aimed at their specific kids, aimed at their taste because if a child likes for example music he should look for a tv show related to that subject. First with captioning and then when the kid gets used to listening remove it altogether.

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As a tool to learn another language, I would say children songs are very useful. After all, children learn their native tongues through children songs in their native tongue. So, for a non-native learner, it certainly helps to learn the language through children songs. One, children songs are catchy. We may be adults but that doesn't mean the way we learn must by staid and stuffy. What's wrong with a catchy tune to help us learn? Two, children songs are easy to pick up. The melody is simple. The lyrics are simple. Just a few repetitions and we should be able to sing it. Hey, we are singing in a foreign language! Isn't that simply fantastic?

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