Monday, January 14, 2008

Ni Hao, Kai-Lan on Nick Jr. February 7, 11AM

By now you may have already heard of the upcoming Nick Jr. show, Ni Hao, Kai-Lan, which premieres on February 7.

A la Dora and Diego, Kai-Lan and her pals are bilingual, speaking Mandarin and English interchangeably, but with an added emphasis on biculturalism. "Ni Hao, Kai Lan reinforces the idea that being bicultural and bilingual is being American," going beyond just ethnic food and festivals.

The curriculum for the show, as outlined on the Nick Jr. website includes the following:
  • Mind-body connection -Typically, television portrays excitement as the good emotion to feel. In many Chinese-American communities, the good thing to feel is often calmness and contentment. Feeling excited and feeling calm can both be happy feelings, but they differ in how aroused the body is.
  • Perspective-taking - In many Chinese and other East Asian families, children are encouraged to take the perspective of others to maintain harmony in relationships with other people.
  • Being a good member of the group - Ni Hao, Kai-lan also emphasizes the Chinese and Chinese American value of being a good member of a group.
  • Social & Emotional Goals - Highlight cause-and-effect thinking about social and emotional issues germane to preschoolers and to support preschooler's social and emotional development.
Our lil Sunshine is probably too young (12 months) to get anything useful out of the show. But in the absence of a Berlitz course, you can bet that this RiceDaddy will be watching hoping to learn as much Mandarin as he can.


mom2divas said...

My kids have seen the first episode on our local Kids on Demand and loved it. It's refreshing to be able show a program they can relate to. My older daughter thought Kai Lan looked like her younger sister and said it was cool. Yeah Kai Lan!!

Anonymous said...

There was an interesting profile of the child actor who voices Kai-Lan in the Milwaukee paper:

I was surprised that they cast a midwestern adoptee who has only been studying Mandarin for 2 years in that role. (To say nothing of the article's characterization of Jade-Lianna Peters' adoption.)