When we decided to turn our home into a minority language (ml) haven (see Our Story) with as much Majority Language (ML) banned as possible, we began a spring clean in our resources.
Among them, the ML cartoons on ML telly. We began relying solely on YouTube but its choice was quite limited. So we signed up for a trial period with Netflix and quickly discovered what a useful ml resource it was thanks to its numerous audio options.
A few months ago, a monolingual parent commented to me that my eldest daughter would feel isolated from her peers as she would not be watching the same thing as them on the ML channels. That in the long-run she will probably rebel and request to have the ML telly like her classmates. Though I do not deny she might have a point regarding the long-run, I still disagree. Let me share my counter-arguments to help you ease your mind should you, like me, exclusively rely on streaming services for your child’s minority language cartoons:
- Netflix, and certainly many other similar streaming providers, are in competition and seek to provide appealing and varied programmes that will attract customers – in my humble opinion, cartoons seem to be a competitive market on which streaming providers compete (unlike documentaries for instance).
- Children are in control of what they watch and they enjoy it – My 6-year old loves grabbing the tablet to pick and choose the cartoons she wants to broadcast on our telly.
- Thanks to Chromecast and the like technologies, watching streamed cartoons does not feel very much different from watching them on traditional telly since you can broadcast them on your TV set. And cherry-on-the-cake: no advert breaks to spoil the suspense (and for parents: less toy-adverts brainwashing ; ) )
- Less restrictive than traditional telly in terms of time, choice and age-appropriate content.
- Kids get to see entire seasons of their favourite cartoons, whilst their peers are subject to the TV channels broadcasting strategies.
- Kids can watch the cartoon as s/he pleases, pausing, speeding, replaying or adding the subtitles if they want to – here again, a feeling of control that my own child adores.
- Streaming has revolutionised the market – we do not use screens in the same way as before.
- The child’s reaction in the long-run really depends on the child, his/her age and personality – Some might rebel whilst some might not…
Any more reasons I might have missed out? Please add them using the Comment section.