What About a TV?


While I’m scratching my head to find appropriate Chinese books to read to/with Nina (just not enough supply in aussieland), I’m still resisting the idea of having a TV with Chinese channels turned on.

It could be an easy option, but would it be a good option?

Most people are surprised when they get to know that we don’t have a TV at home.

There wasn’t one at Nicolas’ place when we first met in France. I found the idea refreshing and we decided not to have one either after we moved to Shanghai, although we ended up having – not one – two, because our landlord refused to take them away (we comprised by moving the one in living room to the guest room)! So when we moved to Sydney we took the advantage of renting the non-furnished house to not to have a TV, officially.

I don’t think I missed much from not watching TV. Admittedly I got lost in some occassions when the conversation went to the last night’s shows, however I don’t think my life is incomplete without TV. Instead, I get more quality time to read, to write, and simply to think. What about ‘passive relaxation’ that some would consider the main benefit of a TV? Well, there is already internet (and I confess I spend way too much time on it) … I once read a statistics that people in average spend 30+ hours / week watching TV. That’s almost a full time job!

Now talk about the language exposure through TV (for that matter, any other audio/visual media) for a bilingual child. ‘While audio and video materials can serve as a positive and entertaining source of support for language learning, human interaction is the best method for fostering both first and second language development’ (according to ‘Raising Bilingual Children: Common Parental Concerns and Current Research’). I wholeheartedly agree with this statement. Not that I have hard evidence or anything, but my gut feeling tells me that it’s true. There is nothing that can replace the comfort and connection with a human voice.

So, no TV, Nina.


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