Photo Credit: Nickelodeon
There's an awful lot of yelling on TV these days. I'm not talking about HBO or even the primetime crime dramas. I'm talking about shows geared toward children. On some of these shows, it seems as if the characters are constantly shouting. They're usually not angry or in the midst of an emergency. They just apparently like to yell a lot.
I've noticed this is especially prevalent on shows with bilingual characters. When they say a word in a foreign language, they often blare it out loudly. To me, this is akin to someone who—upon encountering someone who doesn't understand English—shouts at them, as if somehow the volume will compensate for the language barrier.
I'm pretty sure there's no scientific research to show that yelling foreign words at kids helps them learn the language more quickly. In my experience, quite the opposite is true—when my kids were learning foreign languages, their teachers would use the language constantly in daily situations (at a normal volume level), and the kids would simply become familiar with it and start using it.
Shows like Sesame Street have been teaching foreign words for decades, without any screaming involved.
I need to particularly call out Dora the Explorer. While I love the adventurous concept of the show—although I wonder why a young girl is able to go off on exotic journeys by herself with no adults around—I am really annoyed by the all the yelling the girl does. She's not alone, however—there's also a lot of shouting on Diego and Caillou (although technically Caillou's vocals usually fall more into the whining category).
So I wonder—can't anyone ever teach these characters how to use their indoor voices?