Television shows affect the language acquisition of children specially those who are between 24 to 36 months of age. Because a child of this age does not have the complex capability to translate their needs in a language which adults can comprehend, a communication system would be of great help for him to learn the fundamentals of speaking.
Although there are infinitely many natural means for a child to acquire skills in fundamental speaking, one of the most efficient strategy is to let him watch a television show with the strictest supervision of his parents or guardian. However, fail to do so will lead the child to aggressiveness, cleverness, and violence possession of speech.
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On Television Shows: A Child’s First Camaraderie
A speechless baby was born. He has grown several inches after ten months. In his soft crib he was laid with a television show in front flashing his eyes – down to his brain – up to his sensory neurons. Then the room heard the baby’s screech with a babbling sound protruding to a sudden gesture. It lasted for about three minutes. Nobody knew why.
Much of the mystery of infants, 24 to 36 months old, lies in their inability to communicate needs yet they survive. Since most children do not say even their first words until they are 12 to 15 months old (Hurlock, 1978, p. 163), they have to cry out loud to express irritation, uneasiness, hunger, and some emotional fears. Sometimes, their guardians even have to invent strategies to discover the child’s what’s and why’s.
Fortunately, this stage in a human life doesn’t end at all in a dumb cocoon. As the months and years mature the infants, their environment plays a great role in the development of their language particularly the television media. The Public Broadcasting Service (2009) states the following:
Studies have found that children at 30 months of age who watched certain programs (one study focused on “Dora the Explorer”, “Blue Clues”, “Clifford and Dragon Tales”) resulted in greater vocabularies and higher expressive language whereas overall television viewing (including adult programs) has been associated with reduced vocabulary.
Perhaps, we cannot stop the booming of the Information Age where the means for knowledge acquisition is a glance and click away. What we can do as for now is to limit and strain the difference between safe and hazardous television programs to go beyond the imagination of the infant’s vulnerable and easily-penetrated minds. This is because unlike
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other organ systems, the human brain is embryonic at birth – it completes the majority of its development in response to environmental stimuli over the first 18 to 24 months of life (Kaiser Family Foundation, 2005).
We can see the clear distinction between a child who is guided by his parents through arrays of children TV shows and a child who was forsakenly misguided. To give example is to compare two programs: “It’s a Big, Big World” and “SpongeBob”. The first program mentioned is recommendable to children who are 24 to 36 months old because the characters here like Madge, Burdette, Snook and Bob are soft-spoken so as not to frighten them and cause them traumatic heart conditions. The sound effects are so smooth which is fit to their sensitive eardrum. The pronunciation of words is sharply defined for them to be familiarized with compare to SpongeBob’s. The latter program sounds so colloquial and rude – not just the scenes but most specially the dialogs.
If you will observe a child watching a TV program like the one appropriate (but is not limited) mentioned above, you will surely see him babbling a word with single vowel-consonant combination like “da”, “ma”, “uh”, and “na”. Later on, with self-practice control makes it possible for him to repeat those sounds and stringing them together to form a new word like “ma-mi”, “da-di”, and “na-ni”. (Hurlock, 1978, p. 167)
However, if we let a child watch whatever TV show he arrives at, the chance for them to gain violent and harsh words is definitely inevitable. There are the various TV anime choices which can make them worse – “Ghost Fighter”, “One Piece”, “Dragon Ball Z”, and the like. What if one day you hear your child cursing and calling you a “hoar” for no reason that he innocently enjoys? Would you blame him or the television show he had watched? Anyway, the television can be turned off. It’s just that the authority is in your hands.
Now, a new punch line reveals – “A family that watches together, speaks together.”
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Hurlock, E. B. (1978). Child Development 6th Edition. Metro Manila: Cacho Hermanos Inc.
Kaiser Family Foundation. (2005 January 31). The Effects of Electronic Media on Children Ages Zero to Six: A History Research. Retrieved April 16, 2009, from http:www.kff. org/entmedia/7239.cfm
Public Broadcasting Service. (2009). TV and Kids Under Age 3. Retrieved April 17, 2009, from http://www.pbs.org/parents/childrenandmedia/article-faq.html