Really Cartoons? Yes, cartoons CAN help with learning a new language. No matter how old you are, cartoons bring about entertaining animation, funny voices, and vibrant colors. These features help capture engagement and attention that can help motivate a learner to engage with a new language. Using a variety of decoding strategies and comprehension skills, learners can acquire new vocabulary and phrases from simply watching cartoons. Here are some options:
Using this fun cartoon, Arabic learning students can use this cartoon to learn the alphabet, pronunciation and basic vocabulary. The plot revolves around a parrot family in which the mother is teaching her son about the Arabic language.
- Chinese: “大耳朵图图”
This great cartoon is perfect for beginning Chinese students. The main character, Hu Tutu, is a boy with a strong imagination, an inquisitive mind, and comically large ears. In most episodes, he has adventures and/or setbacks and learns valuable lessons with the help of his parents.
- French: “Petit Ours Brun”
This exciting French cartoon follows the life of a young brown bear as he struggles with standard issues preschoolers encounter as they grow up. While “Petit Ours Brun” is aimed at preschoolers, it’s a good option for all early language learners because it uses simple language and focuses on common scenarios.
- German: “Piggeldy und Frederick”
This German cartoon series follows two little pigs: Piggeldy and his big brother Frederick. Piggeldy is adventurous and asks a lot of questions, which Frederick aims to answer, setting each episode into motion. Another great option for early German speakers due to the situational conversations and basic language.
- Japanese: “サザエさん”
Most Japanese learners are intrigued by anime. Since the show’s debut in 1969, there have been over 2500 episodes. “サザエさん” follows the everyday life of a Japanese family, including humorous scenarios related to common activities, like working and maintaining the house.
- Spanish: “Pocoyó”
The show follows a curious four-year-old. The series is intended for preschoolers and portrays things that appeal to kids, like picnics, puppet shows, and playing games. These scenarios are also valuable for language learners, however, since they show fairly routine situations.