Identified Teaching Strategies of Academic Language in Foreground Programming

Shamel Farley, Fordham University


This study investigated how creators utilize academic language in the form of Tier Two and Tier Three words in four foreground programs. Foreground programs are televised programs especially made for younger audiences. I analyzed the language presented in four shows recommended for preschool children: (1) WallyKazam, (2) Tumble Leaf, (3) Doc McStuffins, and (4) Peg Plus Cat. Data in the study was triangulated through the use of the following: (a) tally notes, (b) transcripts, and (c) annotated notes. The data revealed the complexities of language present in the programs. Data showed that the show’s producers embed academic language in each episode. Target words were introduced and followed up through several repeated experiences in Tumble Leaf and WallyKazam. Other examples of Tier Two and Tier Three words were simply introduced through conversations in Doc McStuffins and Peg Plus Cat. Language in the programs showed significance, connections and sign systems of knowledge according to Gee’s seven building tasks of discourse analysis. Based on my findings, the shows’ producers relied heavily on introducing, restating the vocabulary and providing time for the characters to discuss the words’ meaning through their conversations and actions. The findings of my study indicated that foreground programs provide preschoolers with various tiers of language repeatedly.

Subject Area

Curriculum development|Mass communications

Recommended Citation

Farley, Shamel, "Identified Teaching Strategies of Academic Language in Foreground Programming" (2019). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI22616785.