Other than from being a great place to waste a whole day by binge-watching a series that features adults playing teenagers caught in mind-bending drama, television does have its educational uses. Though it may not get a lot of credit as a learning tool, the fact is, most of us who are reading this now have learned a lot of our vocabulary from TV (for better or worse). Whether we learned English from cartoons or have a working knowledge in Spanish thanks to Dora the Explorer, the best bilingual kids TV shows are entertaining as well as educational.
These bilingual shows for kids almost always use humor and interactive content to connect with young viewers and engage them in ways that books or lessons can't. And in an increasingly connected world, its these shows that are preparing the kids of the future by teaching them languages other than their native tongue.
Whether you're trying to get your own kid to be bilingual or you're simply curious where the future of educational television is going, we're here to rank the best bilingual children's shows from best to "bueno." Or in French, from best to "bien." Or in Italian, from best to "bene."
Language taught: SpanishOh Noah! (PBS, 2011) is a children's educational television program. A curious, twelve year-old boy learns new Spanish words each day while visiting his grandmother in Mexico.
Language taught: SpanishEl Perro y el Gato is a Spanish language animated educational television series airing on HBO since 2004. It is a Spanish learning show.
Language taught: Mandarin Chinese