Did you know there is Elmo in Chinese? Fabulous if you are looking for language resources of Chinese for kids. I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Manabu Nagaoka, the VP Executive Producer at Sesame Languages and Sesame Workshop. His team is working on a show called Fun Fun Elmo (乐乐Elmo), a new show with Mandarin-speaking Sesame characters that will introduce a Chinese tone, word, and stroke order of characters with animation and live action film shot in China.
What is the objective of the project Fun Fun Elmo in Chinese (乐乐Elmo)?
Sesame Workshop’s developing Chinese Culture and Language series will not only cater to the vast populations of Chinese communities in the U.S., but will also encourage Chinese cultural appreciation and exchange, using locally developed content from China. Fun Fun Elmo introduces viewers to Mandarin language through new animation and live action films shot in China. It also encourages Mandarin language exposure, as each episode introduces a Chinese tone, word, and stroke order for writing characters.
Who is the target audience of Elmo in Chinese?
Primarily, the target audience is young children, from 2 to 6 years olds, whether heritage learners or general Chinese language learners. But, we found this to be useful for even older audience who are learning Chinese for the first time. Also, simultaneously, we are preparing these to be released in China as a component to our early literacy programs.
What topics are mentioned in the videos?
Season 1 of Elmo in Chinese, which is on Sesame Youtube Channel, has three sets of programs:
- Chinese numbers 1 to 5
- Food (Soup, Cooked Rice, Tea and Water)
- Nature (Flower, River, Cloud, Mountain)
Season 2 … 13 more words! We also have a set of 52 segments called “Tone Cube Dim Sum,” 26 of which are integrated into the show, and are made for social media release. We are looking for the best way to host these contents in the very near future. Season 2 of Fun Fun Elmo in Chinese for Kids will soon start airing on SinoVision Channels and Sinovision.net.
What does the future look like? How many clips are planned?
We are hoping that these programs will attract enough interests so that we can continue growing our content. We have another program called Sesame Street English which teaches English to non-English speakers as well as general learners. It uses universal topics like math, science and social studies to teach the language so that it can be adapted to teach kids in any language. We hope Fun Fun Elmo in Chinese will become a show to teach Chinese for kids too.