Sunday, August 28, 2016

Moroccan Children Watching English Language TV

The push for wider English language usage in Morocco is getting a small but unexpected boost from parents. While many politicians, educators and business leaders are calling for English to be a bigger part of the education system, it appears some parents are taking matters into their own hands and using the internet to show their children programmes in English
Time for Teletubbies...

Among the most popular programmes are the British Teletubbies and two Australian favourites; Play School and Bananas in Pyjamas.  From the USA the standout favourite is Sesame Street. 

The Teletubbies characters, Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa and Po, may speak in their own peculiar way, but even if they are not fully understood by Moroccan kids, their names are becoming well known. The programme is aimed at pre-school children and is easily found on YouTube. Some YouTube sites are subscription, while many others are free.

"Play School encourages a child to think"

Play School has been on Australian TV for the last fifty years and is recognised as one of the highest quality children's programmes. It describes itself as "aiming to encourage a child to wonder, to think, to feel and to imagine. The program shows two warm, caring people taking the time to be with one child. They address the child directly and personally. Into this relationship are woven the stories, songs and activities that form the fabric of Australian children's culture. Play School is successful because it satisfies our basic human need to interact with other people and to be valued by them."

Play School uses clear language and repetition that young Moroccans quickly pick up and t's values are totally compatible with those of Morocco.

"Are you thinking what I'm thinking B1?"

Possibly the most popular, and certainly the most addictive, children's programme is Bananas in Pyjamas. The main characters are two anthropomorphic bananas named B1 and B2. Other characters include the three teddy bears Amy, Lulu and Morgan, and Rat in a Hat. The bananas, the teddies and Rat in a Hat all live in the same neighbourhood, a cul-de-sac called "Cuddles Town". The characters enjoy eating "munchy honeycakes" and "yellow jelly". Together they solve problems and care for their friends.

Until recently it was difficult to access many programmes in England and Australia, but now, thanks to simple and popular tech-solutions, access is possible for anyone with a wifi connection.


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