While some individuals believe that there is no educational value of television programmes on teenagers in the twenty first century, a study by André H. Caron has shown that documentaries can help develop critical thinking about society and the world, watching the news can educate teenagers on current issues and can help young people be more aware of people and exposure to certain shows can improve learning in languages.
Documentaries are films that make use of graphic scenes to illustrate points and show raw emotions. These films are supposed to open teenager’s minds to a new wave of critical thinking. It can lead teenagers to discuss certain issues (sexual harassment) and documentaries can educate teenagers to question everything that they watch and hear and can surface logical conclusions. Discussions on these films can guide teenagers to a better understanding of society and the world. Documentaries can provide a route for the youth to assess issues like sexual harassment logically and come up with solutions. In 2019 a documentary entitled “Surviving R. Kelly” was released which focuses on the alleged sex crimes the musician commited. People were aware of the actions for a long time but according to The Cut since the airing of the show more survivors have spoken out and more people have taken action. This shows that society is learning to think critically and teenagers can learn a lot from this. Documentaries can educate young people on current issues and events and it can alert them to advocate for change.
Teenagers need to be aware of current events because learning about global issues is a key to self-empowerment and advancement according to ‘mimio’ watching programmes that teach us about current events (The Daily Show with Trevor Noah) can develop informed citizens and build oral expression, and listening skills. This is needed to solve global issues like police brutality and discrimination against certain races. Current events can introduce communication between teenagers and according to ‘the balance careers’ communication skills can increase open mindness and feedback showing that when teenagers exchange ideas, facts and solutions this can lead to success. The Daily Show with Trevor Noah can be a tool for learning about current issues and events because Trevor Noah interviews people who speak out about what they have learned and their personal experiences and for there to be a change teenagers need to be aware of how certain issues (police brutality) impact other people’s lives. These programmes can educate young people to look at situations from other perspectives. When we learn about current events we also learn that the world is changing and in order for there to be respect and peace, we need to accept and embrace our differences (different languages) to make a change.
Being exposed to certain shows can help with learning about different languages. Our world is so diverse that it is important to learn about different languages. According “The Joy of Languages” if you watch television programmes you will learn to speak a foreign language more naturally. In ‘Jane the Virgin’ there is Spanish speaking and on “commonsense media” parents and teenagers have said that watching this show has exposed them to the Hispanic culture and Spanish and that the show provides Spanish speaking skills. Television programmes can be used as a tool for learning foreign languages.
In conclusion, television programs can be used as a secondary tool to educate teenagers on life and school-related issues. It is up to them to use this tool for educational purposes and to raise awareness.