Thursday, 12 July 2012

Square Eyes: A Guide to English Language Kids Programmes

As Chloe grows older, her interest in TV programmes and cartoons grows too. At the moment, she doesn´t really watch too much TV and I´d like to keep it that way as I don´t want her to end up with square eyes! However, I think that TV programmes and DVD´s can be a great way to provide bilingual kids with extra language input but can also be used for any child that is learning a language so I thought I´d take a look at some kids cartoons particularly those of English language origin and those that are shown on Spanish TV.

With DTT many programmes can be switched to the original language and many of the children´s TV programmes on Spanish satellite and cable are of American origin. One channel I really like is BabyTV, which is great for toddlers as it has many short cartoons and animated songs etc and it is really the only channel that seems to catch Chloe´s attention for now.If you click on the link provided, you can find online games, colouring pages to print out and much more. Then there are Dora the Explorer and Go,Diego, Go cartoons, which are aimed at teaching children Spanish phrases or English phrases if you watch the Spanish version. I´m not sure if I think that they really will help kids learn another language and I also find them a little irritating after watching them a couple of times.

Peppa Pig is a British cartoon so is complete with British accents, which are fairly clear and easy to understand. It is a big hit in England and seems to be pretty popular here in Spain...we like it too, even though we are adults!It was being shown on Clan but doesn´t appear to be on for the time being. Clan is a Spanish children´s channel with many popular kids cartoons,if you click on the link you can watch some of your favourite kids cartoons in Spanish or English. Clan is also showing an all-time British kids TV programme classic, Postman Pat, which I loved watching as a child so I´m glad that I will be able to share this with my daughter. However, I think that this is a new, more modern version. The voices of Postman Pat and company seem to have Lancashire or Yorkshire accents, which is also a big plus as this way my daughter and other children can get accustomed to various regional accents.

Fifi and the Flowertots is another British animated cartoon about some flower characters and their adventures so again features British accents including the Lancashire accent, which is excellent for me as I´m a Lancashire lass but haven´t got the accent so at least Chloe will hear it and get accustomed to it!It is shown on NickJr.

For now, that´s all the British cartoons that I´ve found which appear on Spanish TV and Spanish satellite but there are also a couple of Australian programmes that are also shown on Spanish satellite. These cartoons a great way to expose children to other different accents and different vocabulary. Bananas in Pyjamas  is about two bananas,B1 and B2, and their friends and the adventures they have. It is shown on Cartoonito.
Another Aussie cartoon is The Koala Brothers, about...yes, you´ve guessed it!!... two koala brothers who love helping out their friends, also shown on Clan.So these are just some of the kids cartoons I´ve found on Spanish TV and have been watching with Chloe (but I think I´m doing more of the watching than she is!!)and which I hope she´ll enjoy as she grows older. I also hope it´s helped you to find some good cartoons in the English language to watch with your kids!I haven´t looked at American cartoons as the majority of cartoons shown on Spanish TV are American so you have a wide variety to choose from!I´d love to hear Spanish cartoon reccommendations ( that they haven´t been dubbed or translated from another country!) 

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