I Believe in Sesame Street

Cheryl - North Charleston, South Carolina
Entered on September 7, 2011
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I believe in Sesame Street. More broadly, I believe in the power of educating a child. I want to be a teacher, because I want to educate others like I was and continue to be. I want to teach at the high school level, not the lower grades, so a belief in Sesame Street does not make so much sense at first glance. The explanation; however, lies in the fact that I want to teach a foreign language. I want to teach French and I want to help others understand it as I have been learning to do.

I believe that the value of education is immense, especially education in language, because without language how can you communicate concepts learned in other areas of knowledge? Language is the fundamental building block on which all other areas of knowledge are built, and how well a concept is communicated to you affects how well that knowledge is retained.

Learning a new language puts everyone back to square one – I began with the alphabet and numbers one through ten. I learned how to say the verb that means “to be,” and began to be able to describe myself, and then communicate these descriptions to my fellow classmates. I was like a child again in the face of learning a new language, and for this reason I believe in Sesame Street and the power that learning something completely new brings.

Sesame Street has a program, Sesame English, which begins to teach English to children in different countries with the help of a multilingual cat named Tingo. Its target audience is 4 to 7 years old, but I believe that the families of these children benefit largely as well. Children’s programming that incorporates foreign language can help adults just as well because its songs and mnemonics can be useful in beginning to learn a language. Even the sometimes cheesy songs from regular Sesame Street have stuck with me because they really did help me learn. I will not soon forget “C is for cookie, [and] that’s good enough for me.”

Sesame Street is able to reach people in over one-hundred different countries, in many different languages. Sesame Street is able to open the doors of communication between peoples, beginning with the younger generation in the hope that promoting tolerance will raise a new generation in which society is more just. They have been able to create twenty international versions all with characters and themes geared towards dealing with the issues facing each country. For instance, France’s version of Sesame Street, 5, Rue Sésame, concentrates on being sensitive to other cultures because of France’s large immigrant population.

Sesame Street is able to open dialogues between many different types of people. They create communication, like I one day hope to facilitate, just in a different way.