Vincent & Friends














Vincent & Friends TV series revolves around the adventures of two pre-school children; a boy (Eddy) and his older sister (Rose) plus their two magically endowed toys. Vincent the ‘magic paintbrush’ can paint scenes that become ‘doorways to discovery’ when the appropriate words are said aloud correctly. Rhina is a streetwise toy rhinoceros that loves to read.

Each episode of Vincent & Friends begins with the children alone in their playroom while Rhina provides the topic for the episode. Vincent paints a topical scene which allows for further exploration.The characters enter the scene where they learn more about the topic before repeating the magic words when it is time to return to the playroom.

Rose and Eddy learn about the world around them through Vincent’s paintings. They learn to seek information, ask questions, and solve problems. In their adventures, they learn to communicate with other children and adults from all over the world. They are models of good manners and behaviour.

English is accepted internationally as the preferred language for conducting commerce and for communicating concepts in science and mathematics. English is taught in Malaysia from kindergarten. Good English programmes for children will complement the teaching of English in schools.

Articles published in September 2005 by The New Straits Times and The Star newspapers reported that the Education Ministry encourages schoolchildren to watch more English Language television programs, including cartoons, as part of a strategy to improve their English.

“We cannot dismiss the role of television,” Director-General of the Education Ministry, Datuk Dr Ahmad Sipon was quoted as saying. “It is important. Students should watch more television, especially educational English programs …” (March 3rd, 2005). The most effective way to improve communication skills in any geographic region is to expose the population to the correct use of language when they are children.

Our market research of children’s television programming shows that there is a lack of educational content in English for children. Many English programmes are designed to appeal to pre-school viewers, but the majority fail to address the language needs of the regions in which they are aired. This is especially true when a programme produced in a region where English is the first language is televised in a region where English is a second language. In nations where English is the native tongue, parents and teachers are able to correct the use of slang and careless language, which children pick up from TV programmes. In a region where English is not the first language, this may not be possible.

Vincent and Friends shows only correct English. Vincent & Friends is a fun-filled children’s animated series written specifically to address the above issues. All dialogue in this series is in simple, correct English suitable for a pre-school audience. Vincent & Friends pays special attention to grammar, syntax and pronunciation. This helps to prepare viewers for a high international standard of English speaking skills.

The language learning in Vincent and Friends is subtle. The young audience will learn as they enjoy the entertaining stories. By focusing on its children, a nation’s transition from ‘poor English’ to ‘good English’ can be seamless. A nation can be speaking and writing ‘good English’ within one generation.