Language and learning: a discourse analytical study of the children TV programme Team Umizoomi
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Modern children TV shows are heavily geared to engage children in learning new contents. Similar to any educational context, the transfer of knowledge in children TV shows is informed by three prominent psychological theories: behaviourism, cognitivism, and sociocultural theory. Much research about learning in children TV shows utilise psychological methods and theory that, for the most part, ignore the role of language as a discourse strategy and a semiotic resource that interact with learning. An episode of the children TV show Team Umizoomi, titled The Elephant Sprinkler, was selected as a point of departure to understand the relationship between communicative resources such as discourse strategies and semiotic sign system, on the one hand, and learning within the framework of three major psychological learning theories, on the other hand. Discourse analytical methods were used to process and analyse data. Results suggest that the episode heavily utilises discourse strategies and also the Peircean sign system theory that relates to sociocultural theory of learning. This research may be useful for scholars from diverse academic and professional areas that aim at education. Similarly, the findings may contribute positively to improve television productions for future children TV shows. This study faced limitations in terms of data selection as well as the lack of real target audience’s reactions.