What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Oh Noah! is a PBS-created learning website and web-only video series that teaches kids basic Spanish vocabulary in a relaxed, mistakes-allowed way. Noah is a 9-year-old boy visiting his grandma in a community where everyone but him speaks Spanish. He begins to learn the language through trial and error. Kids laugh with and learn from Noah's mistakes and his adventures that follow. The interactive videos, games, and activities on this site encourage kids to try new Spanish words along with Noah.
What kids can learn
Language & Reading
- letter or word recognition
- cultural understanding
Thinking & Reasoning
- making conclusions
- multiple forms of expression
Responsibility & Ethics
- embracing differences
Engagement, Approach, Support
Kids learning a new language will immediately connect with Noah's challenges and amusing missteps.
Funny animated videos, embedded games, printables, and extension activities for parents and teachers all introduce, build, and reinforce Spanish vocabulary, while helping kids learn to pick up contextual language clues.
Excellent Oh Noah!-specific resources for parents and teachers are available through links to the PBS Parents and PBS Teachers websites.
What's it about?
Short videos on the site humorously show kids how nine-year-old Noah's attempts at learning Spanish aren't perfect. When he uses the wrong word or misunderstands something someone else said or conveys by gesture, Noah is off on a misadventure. Related games on the site help kids practice Spanish vocabulary words and phrases, and parents and teachers can find suggested offline activities to support learning, too. Noah is an online amigo who’s helpful for both kids who are learning Spanish and for Spanish speakers who are learning English.
Is it any good?
The creative approach of Oh Noah! turns the typical teaching method for language learning on its head. Instead of the model -- in this instance, Noah -- knowing Spanish well enough to teach it, he's learning and making mistakes right along with all new-language learners. Better yet, Noah shows kids that learning language is about more than just memorizing words. He learns by body language, situational context, and trial and error. The simple but wise message of this interactive video and game site: Jump in and learn! Nobody's perfect when learning a new language.
Explore, discuss, enjoy
Families can talk about why learning more than one language is beneficial. Does your child speak another language, or know anyone who speaks another language? Where could your child practice speaking another language with others?
Learn more about why using websites like Oh Noah! is an important complement to more traditional forms of education. Read Common Sense Media's Making the Case for Teaching with New Media.