Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Uno . . . Dos . . . Tres . . . Waffle!

Shows like “Dora the Explorer” and “Go, Diego, Go!” are a wonderful way for preschool children to learn and to be introduced to the Spanish language.  However, there is one key component that is missing: true interaction with the child.

In both of these TV programs, the characters talk directly to the viewer, often times asking questions for the preschooler to answer.  This is a great way to get small children thinking.  However, on numerous occasions, I’ve heard this from the living room: “Mommy, Dora isn’t answering me!” or “I don’t know, Diego; I DON’T know!!!”

Yet, the worst consequence of this lack of true interaction is the fact that my children don’t always absorb the information correctly.  A couple weeks ago, I was practicing counting to 20 with my son and daughter.  They do fine on their own up until 12, and then the number order gets all mixed up and hazy for them.

As we were stringing counting beads, my daughter (almost 5) declared beaming, “I know how to count to 4 in Spanish now, Mommy!”

Thrilled, I told her to show me.  More than a little excited, she began counting the next strand of beads in Spanish: “Uno . . . dos . . . tres . . . waffle!”

I’m no expert on the Spanish language, but even after only 2 years of Spanish in high school, I know that the number 4 in Spanish is cuatro, not waffle.  I gently tried to correct her, but my daughter refused to accept it.

In my household, Dora and Diego are the highest authority on anything Spanish related, at least in my children’s eyes.  Consequently, if Dora says ‘waffle’ is the way you say 4 in Spanish, then that is that!  There is no convincing them otherwise.

Hopefully, some day soon, I will be able to make them see that they simply misheard Dora.  But until then, I must endure “uno . . . dos . . . tres . . . waffle” each and every time there is something to be counted!


  1. Reminds me of the story I heard long ago about the little boy trying to sing the Star Spangled Banner. He was convinced it stared Jose can you see...

    Cute story & I love the way you title your posts.

  2. Cute story! ~ Angela, Whole Foods Living, http://www.wholefoodsliving.blogspot.com/

  3. It's great that they are exposing the kids to other languages and we also like Ni Hao Kai Lan for teaching Chinese.

  4. “I don’t know, Diego; I DON’T know!!!” -- LOL! You have a great point, but just think if they decided to make shows interactive like telephone voice prompts. Could you imagine the frustration? ;)