Teletubbies

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Teletubbies Who (or what) are the "Teletubbies?" Many people are familiar with this relatively new cultural phenomenon, but for those who are not, they are rather hard to describe. They appear on a PBS television program designed for toddlers. One newspaper writer has described them as "four roly-poly futuristic rugrats." They are brightly colored, alien-like technological babies, complete with baby talk and giggles. They live in a hilly, pastoral land, full of flowers and bunnies and sunshine, as well as technological gadgets, such as their caretaker/vacuum cleaner named Noo-Noo. They each have their own personalities and favorite toys, and they have taken America, as well as much of the world, by storm. PBS contends that the television series "is designed to encourage curiosity and to stimulate imagination" in young children: to help them learn. The creators of the program, which began in Britain, conducted research with children, nursery school teachers, and linguists. The co-creator and writer, Andrew Davenport, has a degree in Speech Sciences. "Teletubbies" makes use of bright colors, music, repetition, and a slow pace, because this is how young children learn, according to the current research on education. Michael Brunton, in an article in Time, said that "people are missing the point" when they criticize the repetition and hear the baby-talk of the teletubbies. "Teletubbies is in fact closely modeled around the latest theories of speech that identify patterns of movement, a sing-song voice,...repetition and social interaction as key building blocks." These views have been widely publicized, as has been the idea that young children learn the most, and most rapidly, before the age of three. PBS also... ... middle of paper ... ...eir tummies come from--the devil? The show's repetition and music, and use of objects that are familiar to children seemed to be the key. My son was very attentive during all 3 episodes. He said, "girl" and "book", "bucket" and "rabbit", and "baby" as the cute sun with the baby face in it came on. The show uses things that are common in the world of children, and they are confident in themselves when they recognize these things. My son would look at me and smile as he recognized each object and said each word. Ok, so by the 3rd episode my husband went to wash the dishes. By the 3rd episode my 2 year old wanted to stand right in front of the television. After 1 1/2 hours of watching the "Teletubbies," my husband asked my son, "Are you brainwashed yet. I think I am. I feel like having some tubby custard." This is about as harmful as the teletubbies get.
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