I was interested in this article about language in children’s television, featured in last week’s round-up post. I love that it reflects the diversity of modern society, but apparently there have been mixed reactions to the Rastamouse programme. I do understand parents’ fears that their children may accidentally sound racist simply by copying the phrases used on the show, but the whole thing very much reminded me of the furore that blew up around the Tellytubbies over a decade ago.
Critics complained that the ‘baby talk‘ the Tellytubbies characters used would slow children’s language development. I’m not sure whether any research was ever done to find out if that was the case, but I’m guessing the controversy over Rastamouse will rumble on in much the same way. You have to admit though, he is pretty entertaining!
The Guardian seems to take a more level-headed view on Rastamouse: http://www.guardian.co.uk/tv-and-radio/tvandradioblog/2011/feb/15/rastamouse-cbeebies?INTCMP=SRCH . Also, take a look at the fascinating TED video I included in my Friday post: http://www.ted.com/talks/patricia_kuhl_the_linguistic_genius_of_babies.html – cf comparison between human and TV input.
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